From Cubicle to Home Office: 5 Tips on How to Propose Telecommuting to Your Boss
By Noelle Frieson
Does your company allow flex-work or full time telecommuting?
Before you propose telecommuting, it’s important to test the waters by finding out if your company already has a policy on virtual work. Many midsized to large companies have flex-work policies, which give guidelines to partial and full telecommuting. But if your company doesn’t have a policy in place – be a trailblazer. Speak to HR and ask if there are other people in the company telecommuting and what their parameters are. If there are none, then use our next tip to be the first.
Take your request as seriously as you want your boss to.
You may be proposing something that your company has not envisioned yet, so you want to propose the suggested work situation on paper! Outline the proposed work hours, the various ways you will stay in communication with the office, when you will be on site, and any reasons this will be better for the company. Your proposal should outline all the benefits for the company and address any concerns that they might have – not the benefits for you personally.
What about a 3 month trial?
Suggest starting out slow—a few week 3 months. Start with a time frame in which your boss can evaluate the new work situation. You will be able to see if working from home works for both you and the company. It will give you a chance to show your boss that productivity is not hindered by telecommuting and the sense of security that they have a formal way to evaluate your work while telecommuting.
Don’t just be a virtual employee!
Come into the office for key meetings, to see your manager or those you manage, or even for an office birthday party. If your boss sees you frequently and your work productivity is at its best he/she will feel more comfortable with the new work arrangement. Also make it a point of answering emails quickly and being available via phone or skype.
What if they say “No”?
If telecommuting is really what you want, start looking for a position in your field that is already virtual. Everything from hourly to salaried positions may already be out there, and your ideal telecommuting career could be closer than you think!
Noelle Frieson is the author of “The Couch Commuter: Finding Work from Home Jobs” and the Founder and CEO of JobProsper.com, a low-cost membership service that identifies and screens legitimate flexible and work from home jobs. Frieson was the daily jobs correspondent for WPIX Channel 11 Morning News in New York City in 2011 and 2012 and has been featured in numerous media outlets across the country.