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Getting Approval to Telecommute

Tags:  Telecommute

According to the 2004 American Interactive Consumer Survey, there was a 7.5 percent growth rate in the number of employed Americans who worked from home at least part of the time, and that number is increasing daily.


You're not unique if you've – at one time or another – considered how great it would be to work from home instead of driving to the office each day. Whether you're desire is to balance your work and family life better or to reduce road time in exchange for more work time, telecommuting – or the more contemporary term ""teleworking"" – may be just the thing for you.


That being said, the next step is to suggest such an arrangement to your boss. If you feel you're ready to make that move, you should follow these Guideposts:


1. Be prepared; know your facts


Many companies are still resistant to having their employees work from home. There is a sense that if they don't see them working hard, then they're not. You need to be prepared.


First, check to see if your organization already has a program in place and what it takes to become involved. If there is not one in place, investigate what it would take to make it happen. Next, determine how well your role and responsibilities will fit within a teleworking schedule. Do you have responsibilities that are a natural fit or are do your obligations require that you work on-site? Finally, be prepared to answer any questions your boss has.


2. Explain your rationale; invite reaction


Skeptical bosses may see this as your way of shirking your duties, so it will be up to you to show how teleworking can be a win-win situation for everyone.


Explain what your job duties are and how they would fit into this new schedule. Illustrate how the impact to the company would be negligible or even be positive. Reassure your boss on how you will still meet your obligations. Ask for his input or concerns so that you can address each one.


3. Ask for support; clarify next steps and show appreciation


It is important that your boss see that you have given full consideration to your ability to do your job while still fulfilling your role on the team.


To help you gain your boss's support, consider a trial period to test out your proposal. Consider starting your new plan during the company's slow season. Establish a very specific schedule of days in the office, times when you need to call or check in, and accountability measures. Be reachable and flexible. And don't forget to thank you boss for his trust and support


Whether you call it telecommuting or teleworking it's all about doing your job. A little preparation and forethought will go a long way when it's time to ask your boss about working at home.

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