Build a Case for Telecommuting

Last updated 26 Jun 2014 . 3 min read

Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer’s recent decision to not allow workers to work remotely has turned the spotlight on the workflex format. Whatever message Meyer may be sending, the fact remains that flexible workplaces improve the work-life balance, boost motivation, and help retains women.

But how is one to approach and convince supervisors about giving remote working a try? Simply asking may not help. A thoughtful and organised proposal on why this “nontraditional” way can work for you and the company is the right way forward.

First things first. Make sure your present work can be performed from home. To ensure that you will meet deadlines, make a list of your tasks at home, how much time they consume and how you can schedule them around your work. Slot a room or a corner in your home as dedicated office space. Make arrangements for childcare in advance. Remember that if your co-workers depend on your presence in the office to get tasks done, telecommuting may probably be not your cup of tea.

Plan well. Prepare a proposal that shows how telecommuting can help the company save time and money, not how it will benefit you personally. It is a good idea to prepare a written proposal that outlines your plan.

Do a trial run. To begin with, offer a trial period, say three months. Tell your boss you’d be willing to get back to office if things don’t work out.

The right equipment. Inform the supervisor about all the equipment and programs you’ve got or plan to install that will allow you to work optimally. Things like high-speed internet access, a printer, fax machine, additional phone line and file backup system help.

Working hours. Let the supervisor decide whether she would like you to work from office for a few hours or days per week. This way, the company can be reassured of face-to-face contact with you. All tasks can’t be carried out from home can be done at the office.

Daily deadlines. Offer to email a list of completed tasks at the end of each day so your supervisor knows exactly how much time and effort you have put in. You don’t want her wondering what you have been up to.

Be accessible. Make it clear you will be available via email, phone, instant messaging, etc., so your boss is not worried about your ability to stay connected.

Telecommuting is fast becoming a popular trend as companies across the globe have realised it saves them millions and, most importantly, results in increased productivity and engagement. Sell your supervisor the idea, and you can join the remote working club!

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