Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home
Nealeigh Mitchell | Excelle
August 05, 2010
Telecommuting has reached such a critical mass that everyone knows at least someone who’s doing it. Downsizing and soaring gas prices have pushed nearly a quarter of Americans into some form of flexible arrangement, according to a Citrix Online survey.
We all know the perks, but wanting to have more time with your family and avoiding traffic aren’t reason enough to persuade a dubious boss. Physical separation tends to blow up every issue, and most managers have a hard time leading without face-to-face contact.
Plus, not all jobs are appropriate for telecommuting. You know better than anybody else if you can do your duties outside the office. So how will you get your boss on board?
Convincing your boss to let your work at home is a negotiation. Put yourself in your manager’s shoes and be prepared to answer the most common objections to successfully make your case.
What’s in It For Me?
You don’t go into an interview talking about how the job will help you pay your bills, so don’t confront your boss with ways telecommuting will help you out. Instead, come armed with ways it’ll help the bottom line. Research shows companies save thousands of dollars per telecommuter each year. Increased productivity and decreased absenteeism are other reported benefits. Plus, managers who offer telecommuting programs recruit and retain the best employees. There are plenty of studies out there, so arm yourself with numbers to support your request. Finding figures that pertain to your specific industry or job description makes an even stronger case.
Why Have You Done for Me Lately?
Your boss’s number one issue will be whether he can trust you to remain productive outside of his eye line. A successful telecommuter is a disciplined self-starter who requires minimal supervision, communicates well, and can balance work and personal life. Is that you? Can you prove it? Remind your employer how diligent you’ve been by providing performance reviews and evidence of independent contributions. You want him to think telework is a safe bet, not a gamble.