Getting your employer onboard with telecommuting

Are you tired of being crammed into a small office or cubicle? Is the long commute to and from work beginning to get you down?  Would saving money on gas help you financially? These are just a few of the questions to ask as you consider the possibility of telecommuting.

Of course, there is one other big question that you need to deal with: will your employer agree to your telecommuting request?

Three-ways to Strengthen your Argument

If your employer has no past experience with telecommuting employees, bringing this up maybe a bit of a shock. On the other hand, if employees have telecommuted in the past your chances of hearing “yes” are much better.

There are several things you can do to strengthen your argument and hopefully be granted the ability to work from home.

Explain the benefits of Telecommuting

Just because you are fully aware of the benefits of telecommuting does not mean your employer has as much knowledge. As you explain the benefits, it is important to focus on the many ways that your employer will win – forget about yourself for the time being.

Some of the most common employer benefits include:

  • Reduced overhead costs
  • Better flexibility during times of economic stress (employees who can’t get to work because of high gas prices, etc.)
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • More time for work due to a lack of commute
  • Schedule flexibility

Offer to complete a trial period

Don’t request an immediate change. Instead, make it known that you are more than willing to try this out and then reassess the situation in the near future. This greatly reduces the risk taken on by the employer.

If you have a trial period in mind – such as one week – be sure to share this idea with your employer. Of course, you could wait to hear their suggestions and then go along with it. The first step in making this transition is being granted a trial period. At that point, it is up to you to prove that it will work.

Be open to all options

Your dream may be to become a full-time telecommuting professional. However, this may not be in the cards right now. This does not mean that you have to give up on your dream entirely. Why not ask if you can work from home part-time and from the office for the rest of the time? This sort of setup may be the perfect compromise.

Three Questions to Ask

Now that you know how to strengthen your argument, let’s take a closer look at some of the questions to ask during your discussion.

1. What are your concerns? Give your employer the chance to tell you why they are not keen on the idea of telecommuting. Even if they are leaning towards letting you try this out, there are sure to be some concerns getting in the way. Rather than sweep things under the rug, it is better to get everything into the open.

2. Do you have any experience working with telecommuting employees? You may be surprised to find that you are not the first person who has asked to work from home. You may also be surprised to learn that others have done so successfully. Obviously, this will go a long way in improving your chances of getting what you want.

3. Is there anything I can do to make the transition easier? This shows that you are truly interested in making things work in a mutually beneficial fashion. By asking this question, your employer may be willing to give it a shot as long as you meet certain requirements. At the very least, you know what you need to do to get started.

Don’t be shy

If your employer does not know you are interested in telecommuting you cannot expect to gain this freedom. Don’t be shy about speaking with your direct boss about your feelings as well as anybody else who could potentially be involved with making the decision. Once everything is out on the table, you will know where you stand.

Remember, the worst that can happen is your employer says no.

If you find that telecommuting with your current employer won’t work, check out our two job boards full of telecommuting jobs.
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