How To Request A Telecommuting Arrangement the Right Way
Not everyone wants to become self employed in order to gain more freedom and flexibility in their lives. Because of this, more people are turning to telecommuting in order to be able to work from home while enjoying the benefits of a stable income. In this article, I'm going to explain what you need to do in order to maximize your chances at getting a telecommuting request approved.
Things You Will NeedA Pen and Paper or a computer with a word processor
A friend who is willing to help you role play
Determine If Your Job Is Telecommuting Compatible
Ask yourself this simple question, "Could I still do my job effectively if I couldn't go to the office for an entire year? "
If you answered yes without hesitation, then you have passed step 1.
If you answered no, then ask yourself how many days would you need to be in the office in order to still be able to do your job effectively?
If there are meetings to attend or parts of your job that require face time, it is always possible to batch these into one or two days a week so that you can telecommute on the remaining days of the week.
Identify All Possible Objections and Problems
The next thing you will want to do is to identify all the possible objections your manager would have towards letting you telecommute.
Managers get stressed out at the idea of telecommuting requests because it isn't something they are used to and they aren't quite sure how to go about managing a telecommuter.
Take the guess work out of the equation and determine EXACTLY how you are going to work and communicate with your manager and colleagues as a telecommuter.
Once you've done that, you might also want to attempt to work from home a few days to uncover any possible problems you may not have anticipated.
Prepare a Detailed Telecommuting Proposal In Writing
Once you have identified all possible issues and developed clear solutions, you need to document it in a telecommuting proposal.
The proposal should cover everything from solutions to potential problems to what hardware you will be using while working from home.
The more detail the better as this will further enhance the perception that you are making a serious telecommuting request.
Putting your telecommuting plan in writing also gives your manager something solid to reference in case they need to seek approval from a higher authority.
Use Role Playing To Maximize Your Confidence
Get a friend to role play with you and have them pretend to be the most stubborn manager in the world.
Doing this as much as possible before the real thing will get your body and voice used to making the request and you will be able to express your ideas clearly and answer objections more confidently.
Identify The Best Time To Approach Your Manager
You don't want to approach your manager about your telecommuting request when they are in a bad mood so observe your managers habits.
See if they are happier on a Monday or on a Friday, in the morning or in the afternoon.
Every manager is different, so do your homework and try to approach them when you feel they will be most receptive to listening to your request.
Make The Telecommuting Request
By now you should be well prepared enough to walk in and ask for what you want. Send your manager an email or call them to book an appointment saying you have something important you would like to discuss.
On that day ensure you have a printed copy of your telecommuting proposal and you are looking decent. Treat it as though you were going to see them about negotiating a pay raise and keep things as professional as possible. Don't give them the impression that you are ill prepared and I assure you they will take you seriously.
One final tip would be to suggest starting it on a trial basis so that your manager can observe your performance for a period of 1 to 2 months with the right to revoke your telecommuting privileges if you don't hold up your end of the agreement.
This allows your manager to "Try you out" as a telecommuter which feels less risky than"Buying in" completely to the idea of letting you telecommute. From here, all you need to do is make sure you deliver your work on time and keep your manager happy.
When making a telecommuting request, you must remember that at the end of the day you are dealing with a human being who has fears and concerns. Do everything you can to minimize this for them and I assure you they will appreciate you for it.
Prepare yourself mentally before making the request and detail your proposal in writing. If you follow the above steps, I can guarantee that you will stand a much higher chance at getting your telecommuting proposal approved.