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 You are Here: Work at Home Moms > Telecommuting & Work at Home Directory > Making an Approach

Telecommuting and Jobs Tutorial - Part 4 - Approaching your employer

This is often the toughest part of making the plunge into telecommuting.

Approaching your boss about letting you work from home is a scary subject to bring up.

Here’s how to take the fear out of the task and position your question to get the thumbs up.

First, it is important to have the right frame of mind.

Approach your boss from the perspective of creating a mutually beneficial situation.

Telecommuting isn’t just good for you, it’s good for your company too. Your employer is going to want to know what’s in it for them. Why should you telecommute? Will it save money? Will you be more productive? Will you’re ability to work at home free up valuable space for a growing company?

Second, instead of phrasing your request as a question make it a well thought out presentation. Demonstrate to your employer that you have really thought out the process. How will you communicate? How will you account for your time? What equipment will you need and do you already have? What skills or experience do you have that have prepared you to telecommute?
Also be prepared to tell your employer why you want to telecommute. Employers are people too and they understand family commitments, long commutes, and the need for flexible schedules.

Be prepared to compromise. Telecommuting can be a scary concept to some employers, particularly if you’re piloting the concept. Be prepared to offer your employer a trial basis or a part time telecommuting situation in the beginning. For example, if your employer is a hands on manager, then they may prefer to see you once or twice a week. You could then offer a part time telecommuting situation where you work from home three days a week and in the office twice.

Offer goals or targets to your employer so there is a measurement of productivity. This will not only start you off on the right foot, it will show your employer you’re serious.

Some employers are not yet familiar with the concept of telecommuting so some education may be required. There are an abundance of case studies on the internet that talk about increased productivity and telecommuting workers. Find a few that relate to your business and print them off to take to your employer. Look for case studies or reports that talk about an increase in productivity and how it has helped the company to really drive your point home and encourage your employer to look at telecommuting as a positive step.

Additionally, if you’re educating your employer about telecommuting, don’t forget to cover the technology that is available today that makes telecommuting possible. We’re talking about web cams and video conferencing, call forwarding so your office calls can be forwarded to your home, email forwarding, and even file delivery services that enable you to send large amounts of data quickly and safely.

Anticipate your employers concerns. What is your employer going to worry about most? Write down anticipated or expected concerns and plan how you’re going to respond. If your employer, for example, is likely to be concerned about inner office communication you can come up with a plan to ensure your co-workers can contact you whenever they need you (during work hours of course) and present that plan to your employer.

Your employer may also be concerned about how you’re going to get the work accomplished, particularly if you have children at home and that is the impetus for telecommuting. That’s an important and understandable question. Another question or concern for an employer may be “how do they know you’re working?” When you’re prepared to answer these questions, you’re employer may be hard pressed to say no.

What do you do if they say no?

There are many reasons why an employer may say no to your telecommuting proposal. When this happens, try to view it from their perspective. They may say no because there are security reasons, an unfortunate experience with telecommuting, or they are simply not ready. If there is an opportunity, ask if you can approach the subject again in six months.

When you approach six months later, be ready to address the reason they said no in the first place and spend the six months proving you’re a productive and valuable member of the company.

Okay what’s next..?

Then possibly, it’s time to look for another position. We explore how to do just that in the next section.

Telecommuting Tutorial Part 5 - Finding a new job.


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