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Telecommuting: Convincing the Boss!

By Brett Krkosska

Telecommuting is without a doubt one of the most satisfying ways to perform a job. Research consistently points to increased job satisfaction and productivity among telecommuters, and employers are seeing reduced real estate costs and lower employee turnover. And the trend towards telecommuting is growing. A study by the International Telework Association and Council found that there are 20 million people telecommuting at least one day each month; which is more than 3 times the number from a decade ago. These numbers are really not so surprising. Who wouldn't want to walk 10 steps to work, in your favorite Tasmanian Devil slippers, and with morning breath to boot?

OK, perhaps some of you prefer mouthwash in the morning. But the great thing is, you're job description won't involve torturing the boss with your delightful breath! So where does one go to find these great telecommuting jobs? Start with your current employer! If you have a regular job that can be turned into a telecommuting job, this is the best way to keep working without losing a paycheck. All you have to do is convince your boss. To convince your employer that your job is well-suited for telecommuting, prepare a written proposal that spells out the goals and benefits of moving your job into the home. You'll want to write this from the position of your employer. You already know why you want to work from home, but your boss must see the transition as a benefit for the company.

Here are some points of consideration:

1. How will telecommuting increase worker productivity, save on overhead, reduce office energy costs, etc.
2. Where will the work be performed (including a photo helps).
3. What equipment will be used and how will it be insured against loss.
4. What are the work hours.
5. What amount of work output is expected.
6. What expenses will the company pay for.
7. How often and when will communication occur with the office.
8. How will productivity and performance be measured.

You can add punch to your proposal by including applicable articles and studies which cite the many benefits of telecommuting. You may find it easier to negotiate a "trial period" with the boss. After a specified period of time, evaluate the trial period to assess strengths and weaknesses of the arrangement. If the trial uncovers flaws, determine why and how to correct them. Go ahead, give it your best shot! Think about it...

...if you can put together a great proposal, anticipate your employers concerns, and prove your worth as a telecommuter, you just might have to go shopping for a new pair of work slippers!

Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on family and home-based work issues. Get start-up guidance, business ideas and inspiration at Become a subscriber for a fresh and original perspective on today's business issues: