Tap to Read ➤

How to Negotiate Telecommuting with Your Boss

Mukta Gaikwad
The job that can be done sitting at home offers comfort, saves time spent on travel and takes away the pressure of pending chores. It is the perfect way for an employee to juggle both his personal and professional life. But is your boss ready for it? If not, here are a few ways of negotiating telecommuting with him.
When gas prices hit $5 a gallon, when there's ultimate gridlock, everyone will look to telecommuting.
- Ron Shaffer
A job that gives you flexible working hours, an option of working from home, and no irritation of commuting every day, definitely fits the bill of an ideal job. But a dream job as such remains a dream for many of us. The trouble of commuting an hour or two hours a day is a serious dampener in the quality of work produced.
This means that if you have to report to office at 9 am, then you leave home at 7 am. And this, in turn, means that you need to start your day at 5 am to be ready by the time you have to leave.
To add to this conundrum, the rising job pressures make working hours longer than usual, leaving very little scope to take our mind off work. Thus, by the end of the week, one reaches a point of burnout, which is thus reflected in the quality of work.
Imagine, if all this time was saved by telecommuting. The wonders of telecommuting is a serious way of improving work and life balance. Working from home and telecommuting with your bosses or clients can help you save your time, money, and energy. 
It is a reasonable alternative for new mothers, those juggling a full-time job and a part-time course, someone with a medical condition, or those who need to tend to domestic emergencies.
As convincing as it may sound to telecommute, is your boss really convinced? Because if your boss is not, then there is no way you can work this way. So, how are you convincing him? Well, find out ...

Benefits to the Company

Convincing your boss to let you work from home is like selling a product to a disinterested consumer. You really have to market it tactically to make a good profit. Thus, begin with how telecommuting will benefit the company first and then you.
When an employee works in an office, a certain cost is incurred to provide him a functional setup; for instance, electricity, water, a desk, chair, a telephone, and maybe a pantry. But imagine if the employee worked from home instead of office? This way, the company could save on such overheads while the work output would remain the same.
In addition to this, working from home would reduce absenteeism as the employee wouldn't have to take a day off to attend to personal or domestic obligations. Also, the amount a company spends as conveyance allowance would entirely be saved. So, these are huge budget cuts for the company, which can be used some place else.

Better Productivity

When an employee proposes working from home, the biggest concern for every employer is the effect on productivity. Thus, your boss is going to need an assurance that your productivity is going to improve, rather than slide, due to distractions at home.
Lack of supervision at home, domestic duties and responsibilities, and waver in self-motivation are the reasons why employers worry about letting employees work from home.
Thus, before you begin negotiating telecommuting with your boss, you need to check your performance at office. Show your boss that your performance has been spotless and above expectations. Being in your boss's good books might help you win this chance of working from your own comfort zone.

Benefits to You

While negotiating with your boss, keep this point, to the point! Talking too much about how it will benefit you will make you come across as a self-centered employee. State your genuine reasons for availing this option.
For instance, if you are a new mom, the reason that you would be able to work far more effectively from home is a convincing one. Another reason which is generally considered is a medical one. However, make sure you are honest while making this point, as you will be required to submit documents proving so, while taking this privilege.

Builds Loyalty

Traveling long distances reduces efficiency and can be discouraging in harsh weather. Allowing employees to work from home is a good idea at times like these. Stressful commute is avoided and an employee can work in a comfortable environment.
A mind at peace is capable of handling far more workload than the one that is distressed. A long distance often becomes a ground for an employee to change jobs. 
However, if the distance is brought to a minimal via telecommunication, there would be no reason for the employee to look for a new job. This could work a long way in building the employee's loyalty towards the company. A reason as powerful as this one is a good point for negotiation.

Proposed Arrangement

This is the most important part of the negotiation. At the end of all the reasons, your boss would be really interested in finding out how are you going to make it happen. Provide your boss a detailed plan of how this arrangement will work.
For instance, you can begin with three days at home and the remaining two at office. A pilot run will give you an idea of how it will work. Be a little flexible with your plan so that your boss has scope to make a few changes. His opinion too has to be considered while planning out this arrangement.
While your boss might not agree with a long duration of working from home, a short one is definitely negotiable. A good presentation of pros and cons of this arrangement will at least make your boss consider this option for his employees.
The bigger challenge of convincing your boss is charting out a plan to be in regular touch with your clients and managing your team over phone calls. Flexible hours and a chance to work from home, brings a huge responsibility of proving a point. Thus, be true to what you've sought and drive the point home with absolute genuineness.