How To Set Up a Telecommuting Arrangement With Your Boss

By Sue Walsh

These days many people are finding telecommuting to be an attractive option. Whether you’ve got a child to care for or just want to save money on gas, you may be wondering how you can get your boss to let you telecommute. Relax; it may be easier than you think! Many companies are finding that telecommuting saves them money too.

The very first thing to do is to find out if your company already has a telecommuting program. If so, your task becomes much easier. If not, you will have to talk to your boss and make your case. Before you do this, think about the reasons you want to telecommute and be sure you truly are cut out to work from home. Are you able to work with no supervision? Can you handle being away from the office grapevine? To some people such social interaction is vital, but telecommuters often must do without them. Do you have the self discipline to stay focused on work and not let the TV, refrigerator, Internet, or housework distract you? Do you have the right equipment (an up to date computer, broadband internet, a quiet place to work) to let you work effectively? If not are you willing and able to get them? If you answered yes, you’re ready to make your case.

When you sit down with your boss, discuss what benefits your telecommuting would bring your company. Would you be more productive if you were able to work from the quiet of your home rather than a noisy cubicle? Will it save the company money? It’s these types of things you’ll want to mention in your proposal. Companies are more interested in how telecommuting benefits them, not you.

You’ll also want to mention your accomplishments and why you think a telecommuting arrangement would work for you. If you have any awards or glowing evaluations to back you up, use them! It’s also a good idea have a plan for how you will schedule your time, stay in touch with co-workers and clients, and handle emergencies. This shows your boss you’re thinking ahead and have the company’s best interests in mind.

If your boss seems open to the idea, be prepared to go slow. Suggest a trial period of a day or two a week and if things go well, slowly add another day or two. Most companies will probably want you in the office at least one day a week and if possible, attend most meetings in person.

Once the trial period starts, check in with your boss regularly and let him know how you’re doing. Regular progress reports will benefit both of you.

Don’t be afraid to approach your boss with a telecommuting proposal. As long you are motivated, have self discipline, the right equipment, and can show the benefits telecommuting will bring the company, you have an excellent chance of getting a shot at it!


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