How to Propose Telecommuting

One of the easiest ways to get a work at home job is to get your boss to allow you to telecommute at least part of the time. There are benefits to both you and the company you work for in most cases, so you need to do some research and write a good proposal if your company does not already have a telecommuting policy in place.

The first thing you need to remember is that you need to present telecommuting as a benefit to the company, not to yourself. Never mind what you’ll save in gas, or the extra time you’ll have to be around your family, that is not relevant. You need to focus on how the company will save money and how your own productivity will increase.

Now you need to do is figure out what you will need in your home in order to telecommute. Hopefully you have access to everything already, such as a computer, phone and internet access. High speed access is best in most cases, so that you won’t be waiting for downloads. Depending on your job, you may also need a fax machine or other equipment. Don’t expect to buy these yourself if you don’t have them, but if you have too many equipment demands it may be harder to get your proposal approved.

Think about how current technology will make it easier for you to keep in contact with the office. With internet access, phone, email, FTP and instant messaging, you may be almost as accessible to your boss and coworkers as you are when you are in the office. If any of these are currently in common use in your office, emphasize your ability to use them at home as well. If you can log into your company’s computers or intranet from home, this will be a big help as well.

Next you need to look at your job responsibilities. How will you handle them at home? You should be as specific as possible.

Why do you think you will succeed as a telecommuter. When your company doesn’t have a telecommute policy in place it is often an uphill battle to get approval to telecommute, so you need to convince your boss (and possibly others) that you can not only do your job from home but that you will do BETTER.

Studies have shown that telecommuting increases productivity. This will most likely be one of the benefits you can show your employer. Also consider if they will be saving money by allowing you to work from home. Will your work space be available for use by someone else? If you need statistics, check sites such as

Present your case in writing. Proper use of bullet points may help to make your presentation clearer by making it easy for your boss to see all the positives. Be ready to justify your proposal verbally. Be prepared to accept that you may only get a day or two a week at first, and suggest a trial run if necessary. You and your boss will need to agree on criteria by which to judge your success at telecommuting.

One issue you will need to be prepared to face is the attitude of your coworkers. Many will be envious or will think that you are just sitting around doing nothing while you are working at home. It doesn’t matter that you are getting more done, people will still assume that you are slacking off.

You will also need to think about how telecommuting will impact your career. You may find that you get fewer promotions by being out of the office so much… out of sight, out of mind. You need to be ready to accept the extra challenges to your career when you are not in the office as much. Telecommuters are sometimes perceived as not being as serious about their jobs. Then again, a promotion could mean you can no longer telecommute if the promotion requires more face to face time with coworkers or clients. Think carefully about what implications telecommuting has for you.

A written proposal is a great way to encourage your boss to let you telecommute at least part of the time. Be thorough in your preparations and be ready to present your case. Although they won’t be relevant to your boss, understand how telecommuting will impact you personally, so that you can deal with coworkers’ feelings, the possibility that you will be promoted less often, and so forth. Telecommuting is a great challenge and a great benefit.


Related Articles

Want to work at home but don't want to leave your job? Telecommute!
Many people dream of working at home for a variety of reasons. True work at home jobs are hard to find, but you might be able to make your current job into one at least part of the time.

Your Telecommuting Proposal
Ready to propose telecommuting to your boss? Learn to write up your telecommuting proposal.

Your Telecommuting Presentation
Along with your proposal you may have to make a presentation in favor of telecommuting. Here's some of what to expect.

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