November 10, 2011

How Can I Convince My Boss to Let Me Telecommute?

Telecommuting is awesome! You can work in PJs ,grab a snack from your own fridge whenever you want, and even, in many cases, make your own schedule. But true telecommuting isn’t the same as working at home as a business owner or in a freelance writing position. As a telecommuter, you still have to answer to a boss and many telecommuters go into an office at least a few times a month.

Still, telecommuting means that you don’t have that ugly rush hour commute, and it’s an optimal choice for parents. How can you convince your boss that telecommuting is a great choice for you?

  • Do a good job in your office position.

If you need constant hand-holding or just scrape by doing the minimal amount of work, your boss isn’t going to be chomping at the bit to put you in a telecommute position. In fact, right now, when the job market is so overflowing with candidates, you might find yourself looking for a new job if you aren’t putting forth your best effort in the office! Get to work on time every day (and that means be at you desk and ready to go, not in the break room getting coffee for 15 minutes). Be a team player. Finish your projects ahead of schedule and on budget. Volunteer for projects and assignments no one wants to do. If you do a great job in the office, your boss will be more likely to consider you for a telecommute position.

  • Educate your boss.

Older bosses and more traditional bosses are adverse to the idea of telecommuting. When you propose this idea, be prepared to gently educate them. Talk about the benefits to the company, not the reasons why it is better for you to telecommute. For example, if you work at home, will you provide your own computer, making it unnecessary for the company to purchase upgraded machines? Or if you work at home will you be less inclined to take sick days? Do your research and if possible, find case studies of other companies in your industry where workers are telecommuting successfully.

  • Start slow.

Going from 40+ hours per week in the office to full-time telecommuting might be a struggle for your boss. Instead, propose a six-month trial period where you work two or three days from home and come to the office other days. That way, if it isn’t working out in your boss’ opinion, you can revert back to working full-time from the office. Be prepared to work hard so you’re allowed to continue working from home when the trial period is over!

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