How much easier would your life be if you could work from home? Imagine how much time you would save, how much more effective you could be, if you didn’t spend time commuting to and from work. If instead of taking a pointless coffee break, you could read a story to your three-year-old. What about getting the vacuuming done during your lunch break? How much money could you save on day care and baby sitters if you worked from the comfort of your home with your children gathered around you?
Do Some Research
In order to convince your employer that this telecommuting arrangement can work, you have to know what you are talking about. Spend a month keeping a journal of everything you do at work. Record things like communications handled by telephone, fax and email or in person. Make notes on which of these could be handled just as effectively by email or telephone.
Next, simulate what your work would be like if you were doing it from home. Use email and chat to communicate with coworkers, customers or vendors. Ask for confirmation on all your emails so that you can document your effectiveness. With today’s technology, there should be very little paperwork at most companies that you cannot access electronically over a computer.
Put Your Plan Together
Evaluate what setting up an office in your home will cost. Do you already have a computer? Is it equipped with the necessary software and security features? Can you afford to purchase any equipment or software yourself? Making your proposal as advantageous to your employer as possible will help your case. While some companies may spring for the cost of company computer for your home, some may not. Remember the money you will be saving by working from home. Is it worthwhile for you to spring for some or all of the transition costs if you’re ultimately getting what you want anyway?
Write up a proposal for your boss. Be sure to cover not only the benefits but any disadvantages and how you pan to address them. This will let him know you have put a lot of thought into this and are prepared with contingencies.
Make Your Pitch
You can either take the direct approach by presenting the proposal to your employer or you can wait for an opportunity like a snowstorm that prevents many people from getting to work. You will look like a hero if you can connect from home and do your job without interruption. If you choose the more direct approach, ask your boss to let you prove it by giving you two or three days to demonstrate your plan. If you’ve done your homework well and presented a well-thought out plan, telecommuting should be within your reach.