Telecommuting and your boss – probably the biggest step in being involved in telecommuting is convincing your boss that this is a good thing. The important thing to remember is that you will need to prove that you telecommuting makes sense for the company/organization. You will need to know what is important to you boss and build a case around that.
Telecommuting and your boss : Here is some things to ponder:
You are never indispensable – you can be replaced
Don’t kid yourself – you can be replaced! Having this attitude is an important step in negotiating with you boss about just about anything, and especially important in getting her/him to agree that you can telecommute. This negotiation is not about you demanding to be allowed to telecommute because it is good for you. It is about how the company/organization will benefit. Have I said that strongly enough?
Consider what it will cost for the company/organization to allow you to telecommute. There will be some direct costs, such as the cost for you return to the office a few times a year to participate in meetings, or the cost of communications (cell phones etc). Work out what all these will be and consider even offering to reduce your salary the same amount. The attitude should be that you telecommuting should not cost the company/organization more money. My advice is that you don’t wait to be asked to ‘contribute’ in the way – offer it.
Consider how working with colleagues and customers that you currently interact with face-to-face will be affected. How will you manage those interactions? What online solutions (Instant messengers (IM), meeting software, Skype etc) will you use? Have you been using these already with these people? If you have not had experience with using these tools then you need to start now. Build up your usage before you ask your boss, so you can prove that the communication will continue to work. Remember that telecommuting and your boss will always be about communication with him/her.
Location Location Location
Have you a case that your new location is better for your company/organization? Maybe you are moving closer to clients or in a location that will make it cheaper for the company/organization to attend meetings. For example, if your company is on the west coast and you have a major client on the east coast, it will be to the companies benefit for you to live on the east coast. Think all these things through – and use them to your advantage when you are discussing telecommuting with your boss.
Childcare? Flexible Hours?
Some people want to telecommute to help look after children through the day, care for an elderly parent or just have more flexible hours. All these are great advantages to YOU telecommuting, but your boss does not need to know them. Always be careful of the childcare issue – holding meetings with screaming children on your knees will never work. Remember – you need to prove that you will be able to work even longer hours and be more productive than you do in the office with this new arrangement.
Know the policy
Make sure you know the company/organization policy and have work out answers to the obvious questions that may pose. Put yourself in you bosses shoes and work out what questions she/he will have to ask you to ensure you are following the policy. If it requires a form to be completed, have one filled in.
Telecommuting and your boss – its really about preparing a case so he/she can’t refuse! If you follow these items above, I am sure you will be able to convince the boss to let you give telecommuting a go!