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Talking Your Way into Telecommuting

Aug 17, 2007
Many people think it would be nice to sometimes work at home. For the most part, they're probably right. There's something nice about being able to work at home. But not everyone wants to give up their current job to do so.

If that describes you, take a look at your job. It might be suited to partial or full telecommuting. All you have to do is convince your boss.

Easy to say, but unless the company you work for already has a telecommuting policy, probably not so easy to do. You're going to have to convince someone that it's a good business decision.

This means research. You want current information on why allowing employees to telecommute is a good idea. The general kind of thing you want would be things such as increased productivity and lowered costs to the business. You don't want to talk about the advantages to you personally. Those aren't important to the business.

You will also need to think about how often you would like to telecommute. Once a week? More? Less? Just occasionally, when the need arises?

What about the equipment you'll need? Security issues? How will your progress be tracked? How will you keep in contact?

Fortunately, between the internet and cell phones keeping in contact is often pretty easy. Calls can be made, emails can be sent. It's easier than it used to be in that area.

As you can see, there are a lot of details you will need to go over to get permission if your company doesn't already have that telecommuter policy in place. No one said this was going to be easy.

Prepare yourself for objections. If they aren't used to supervising telecommuters, many bosses are quite simply not comfortable with the idea. After all, in the office they can easy check and see what you're doing anytime. If you're at home it's not so simple.

I'm going to be honest here. Many companies still won't allow telecommuting because they aren't comfortable with it. It is probably not just your boss you will have to convince if you work for a big company, but his boss and possibly the person above him as well. When it comes to corporations these things take time.

Talking your current employer into letting you telecommute may be tough, but it can be worth it. Being able to telecommute means you can keep working when you can't get to the office for some reason, such as a sick child. But there's a definite price to pay in terms of expectations of you when you're working from home as well as the potential for isolation.

Only you can decide if it's right for you.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster shares more information about telecommuting at http://www.homewiththekids.com/telecommuting/ . You can also read her blog about being a work at home mom .
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