6 Things to Consider When Asking Your Boss to Let You Telecommute


Millions of U.S. companies and workers are finding realistic reasons for telecommuting as a way to improve productivity and work/life balance of employee. The positive reasons for telecommuting has been documented by many software and technology companies, and adopted by many companies, covering a variety of job types from nursing to teaching and more. But before writing a telecommuting proposal and heading into your manager’s office, consider these six tips:

1. Do your telecommuting homework. Find out if your employer has a company telecommuting policy by checking with human resources or your colleagues. If others at your company have worked remotely successfully, you will be more likely to convince your boss that you can do it to.

2. Play up on the productivity reasons for telecommuting. No longer are judged by how many hours you sit in your cubicle. When working at home, you’re value will be determined by results. The key to convincing your boss to let you work at home lies in illustrating that telecommuting will boost your productivity. Tell your employer you will be home working-not cleaning house or caring for kids. Let your employer know your home office set up and plans for childcare. You can suggest how much more focus and energy you’ll have to work instead of commuting.

3. Determine your boss’s potential telecommuting concerns. A manager might object to telecommuting because he’s not sure you’ll be working or concerns over decreased collaboration. Be proactive, explaining he’ll know you’re working because of the results you’ll bring. Offer to check in several times a day, and provide various ways you can be contacted, such as by phone, email, intranet communication, etc.

4. Propose a telecommuting trial period. When you’re writing your proposal, instead of as a permanent situation, suggest probationary period. Recommend a six-month or a three-month telecommuting test period and a monthly conversation with your boss about your progress and productivity. If you’re able to show positive results in your work and no major disruptions for people in the office, your boss will see how beneficial telecommuting can be.  

5. Explain your home-office setup.  Your boss will want to know you have a quiet apce as well as all needed equipment. Many employers won’t supply equipment, so you’ll need to be prepared get your supplies on your own.

6. Rehearse your telecommuting pitch. The more prepared you are, the more your boss will believe you’ve considered all important aspects to your telecommuting idea. Especially practice and highlight areas your telecommuting situation will benefit your boss such as saving wear and tear on equipment, freeing up workspace, reducing expenses and any other positives you can find.

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