Telecommuting: How to Convince Your Boss

Do you want to become a telecommuter? Your chances improve as each year passes.

Telecommuting and telework are synonyms for the use of telecommunication to work outside the traditional office or workplace, usually at home or in a mobile situation.

More than 12 million employees telework more than 8 hours per week, up from 6 million in 2000. The number hit 14 million at the end of 2009.

The growth of the Internet, video conferencing, web cams, and more have made it possible to interact with employees and coworkers virtually and as efficiently as if the telecommuter was actually in the office.

Telecommuting saves time, gas, and money for both the employer and the teleworker.

How To Convince Your Employer to Allow You To Telecommute

One in four Fortune 1,000 companies now have employees who telecommute. Because it is an employees market, employers are using telecommuting as a benefit to attract employees. According to a survey by KMPG Peat Marwick, large companies are more likely to have telecommuters. 53% of these companies found increased productivity and job satisfaction among employees. They also enjoy lower real estate costs and a employee turnover rate that is reduced by 30%.
Before you can make a case for telecommuting, you must anticipate your employer’s reaction. You also must think of the potential benefits for your employer. Then, it is time to prepare a written telecommuting proposal. Do not emphasize how telecommuting will help you. Write this proposal from the employer’s point of view.

Consider the following points when preparing your proposal:

•How will you assure your employer that you will be productive and that you aren’t making the proposal so that you can take care of your children?
•Designate times you will be working at home and hours when you can be reached by phone.
•Emphasize that telecommuting saves the company money on real estate, overhead, heating and electricity costs. It also can help the company comply with the Clean Air Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.
•Don’t ask for a formal telecommuting policy. Ask for a temporary trial.
•Once your proposal is accepted, rewrite the acceptance into a telecommuting agreement to avoid future misunderstandings.

Points to Include In A Telecommuting Agreement

•It is important to put your agreement in writing to avoid any problems in the future. Here are some points that should be included in the written agreement:
•Where the work will be done.
•The number of hours or amount of work to be done each day.
•What equipment will be used.
•Who will pay for telephone cost and will a separate line will be installed.
•How many times each day should the employee contact the office.

Tips To Help You Telecommute Successfully

•Don’t work too much. Your office is so accessible that it can be tempting to work during your family time. When you finish for the day, close the door and get on with your life.
•Make a schedule and stick to it. Try to work the same number of hours you would at the office. Make a schedule so that you work, eat, and spend time with your kids at the same time each day. This will help your family get into a routine and accept your hours.
•Break up your work day. Take breaks, make telephone calls, spend some time with your kids. It will help you avoid feeling isolated.
•Use a separate business line and voice mail. When the work day is over, or you are on a break, you won’t have to worry about having your phone answered in a professional manner. You can also turn off the bell on the phone after hours and check your messages in the morning.
•Stay in the loop. Try to schedule at least one telephone call each day with your office and share the day-to-day details of your work day. Keep up with office happenings, e-mail associates, remember their birthdays and try to visit the office a few times each month.
•Just say no – to overwork and to doing housework during your business hours.