Don't Quit Your Day Job! Convincing Your Boss To Let You Telecommute, Part 1 of 2
By Sharon Davis
Are you desperately trying to find a telecommute job so that you can
quit your current one? Hold on! Your job just might have the potential
to be done from home.
With the right approach, a little research and a good proposal, many
employees are selling the idea of telecommuting to their employers.
In this first segment, we focus on the steps you should take in order to
determine whether or not your job is a candidate for telecommuting.
Many jobs are well suited for telecommuting...and many aren't. Your
first step should be to evaluate your current job and determine whether
or not it is feasible to do it from home.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your job depend on resources that are only available at the office?
If your job only requires Internet access, phone and fax, it is
definitely possible to do it from a home office. However, if you are a
receptionist in a medical office, you probably have other
responsibilities that require you to physically be there, i.e. having
patients fill out paperwork and filing.
- Do you work well without supervision? Some people are perfectly content
to work on their own. Others need the support of having a supervisor
and co-workers nearby. Monitor yourself for a week. Be aware of how
often you rely on others and how you would deal with it if you had been
away from the office. In some cases, a supervisor may feel that getting
phone calls from a remote employee is disruptive, while a quick question
in the hallway is not.
- Do other companies offer telecommuting for your job type? Do some
research and find out if it's already being done. Having evidence of
success with telecommuting can go a long way in convincing an employer
that it can (and does) work.
- Does telecommuting fit with your company culture? If your company has a
culture of empowerment and trust, telecommuting may be a perfect fit.
If they have a more hands-on management style, it may not work. Think
about how your company manages their employees and whether or not the
hands-off style required for telecommuting is possible.
- Could you cope with the isolation? Some people crave office gossip,
lunches with co-workers, water cooler chats and all the human
interaction that comes with a traditional job environment. If this
sounds like you, you may need to give serious thought to whether or not
working remotely is for you- it may turn out to be more like solitary confinement!
Here are some useful resources for evaluating your current job and for
determining whether telecommuting is right for you:
====>Do You Have The Skills to Telecommute? from About.com
====>Is Telecommuting For You? [http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com/081400a.html]
In Part 2, we will discuss the ways that you can convince your boss to let you telecommute.
Sharon Davis is the Mom to two girls, the owner of 2Work-At-Home.Com, Work At Home Articles.net [http://www.workathomearticles.net] and the Editor of the site's monthly ezine, America's Home. In her spare time she reminisces about what it was like to have spare time.
To subscribe to her free ezine, Click Here.
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Don't Quit Your Day Job! Convincing Your Boss to Let You Telecommute (Part 2 of 2)
By Sharon Davis
Ok, so you've determined that you have the right skills and qualities to do your job effectively from home. You're sure that your job is well suited to telecommuting. Now you just need your boss to agree that this is a great idea, but how?
The best approach is to make a proposal. A proposal is a very effective way to sell the idea to your employer because it can be used to highlight the benefits, and presents your request in an organized, professional manner. A well-written proposal can also show that you can work well on your own (a very important point, since you will be largely unsupervised).
The first thing you need to think about is how it will benefit your employer. It's natural for any human being to want to know what's in it for them. Make a list of the benefits of allowing telecommuting such as:
- Can cut costs for office space, equipment, parking, etc.
- Can be a valuable employee recruitment tool
- Increases productivity by 10--30%, according to the State of California Telecommuting Pilot Program
- Additional savings of productive time are realized as a reduction in the use of company paid time to meet personal or family needs. Not surprisingly, telecommuters report that they are less likely to take a sick day in order to be home for deliveries or repairs, or to take children to important appointments.
- May allow work to be done when inclement weather might otherwise interfere
- Enhances employee morale
Your employer will also be able to enjoy the benefits that telecommuting can have on the community:
- Less traffic
- Less pollution
- Increased highway safety
Next, think about what concerns your employer might have and address them in your proposal.
- Would your employer have to invest in additional equipment for a home office, or do you have the appropriate tools already?
- How will your supervisor monitor your productivity?
- When will you telecommute? How frequently will you check in?
- Would there be a trial period?
- If you interact directly with clients, how will they feel about this?
- Would you object to your supervisor visiting your home office periodically?
Once you've done compiled this information, you're ready to start putting together your proposal.
Your proposal should have the following structure:
1. Cover Sheet- This will have the date, your name and title, your company name and your supervisor's name and title. You can name your proposal something like "Telecommute Proposal" or "Flexible Work Proposal".
2. Introduction- Here you will outline what your proposal is about. Tell what your goal is and how it would benefit the company. Keep it short and professional.
3. Benefits- This is where your list of benefits goes.
4. Scheduling- You'll want to start off telecommuting 1-2 days a week.
5. Implementation- Explain what is needed, i.e. equipment, phone line, etc. Here you will address the concerns you feel your employer may have by offering solutions in the proposal. Come up with ideas on how your boss can monitor your performance, how you will communicate with clients and co-worker, and what tasks you will be doing from home.
6. Trial Period- Give your proposed duration for a trial period. 60-90 days is a good length of time to determine effectiveness.
7. Review Criteria- Agree that at the end of the trial period you and your supervisor will review your performance and determine whether or not you can continue telecommuting.
8. References- You can include articles, urls and any other materials that you used to do your research. This way, your supervisor can look at them also and get more information on the benefits of telecommuting.
Once you have written your proposal, be sure to spell check for errors. You may want to have someone else read it and give you feedback.
Depending on your company structure, you may want to make several copies; one for you, your supervisor, their supervisor, the Human Resources Manager and anyone else you feel would be appropriate.
Remember, the more thorough and professional your proposal is, the further it will go in convincing your boss that you have the skills, the motivation, and the work ethic to telecommute.
Sharon Davis, Work At Home expert, writer and consultant, helps people to achieve their goal of working at home, telecommuting or starting a home business. Work At Home
Work At Home Blog
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