So you’re tired of paying higher and higher prices for gas every week, but you have to get to work. Or do you?
What if you could work from home?
Think about it. According to Census.gov, the national average travel time to work was 25.6 minutes in 2021. That’s just one way; it doesn’t count the drive back home after work.
How much gas do you use during your commute every day? What would you save if one day a week you didn’t commute, but telecommuted instead?
Don’t forget the savings on food and clothes too. No buying coffee in the morning, no lunch out, no dry clean only clothes. When you telecommute, you can dress as you please. You make your own coffee and your own lunch.
Now, most jobs require you to be there in person, but there are plenty of jobs that can be done from home at least occasionally. Often, the hardest part can be approaching your boss.
You need to be ready to justify allowing you to stay at home. Saving gas or being available for your children can be YOUR reason, but you need to think about how it will benefit the company to allow you to telecommute even one day a week.
Take a look at your job responsibilities. Can you do them at home at least once a week? Write out a plan and have it ready to show to your boss. Don’t bother with the benefits to you unless your boss specifically wants to know. Emphasize the benefits to the business, particularly your increased productivity and savings to the business. Statistically, teleworkers can be as much as 10-30% more productive at home than they are in the office.
Telecommuters average fewer distractions from coworkers, yet can easily be reached by either phone or email. Take advantage of that.
Be ready to offer a 30, 60 or 90 day trial period of telecommuting. Your boss will want to be able to evaluate your productivity to ensure that you are indeed productive while you work at home. Agree on standards and expectations.
Perhaps most important, talk it over with your family. Make sure they understand that when you telecommute you are STILL working. If your children are home from school you may still want to send them to daycare unless they are old enough to understand and obey the rules. Your spouse will also need to understand that you are working, not just getting paid days off. Family and friends will need to know that you are working, and cannot just run off and help them, gossip or do anything that you would not be doing if you were working at the office.