Making Your Case for Working Remotely
You either love your job or simply view it as a means of survival. Going by statistics, you most likely belong to the second category.
It is a rare worker who genuinely loves their jobs, and considers it a priority above everything else. If you hate your job, being able to work remotely is but an obvious and simple solution.
However, even for those who love their jobs, telecommuting should be something we all seriously consider at some point of our lives.
It is really not as difficult as you may think!
Haven’t you ever wished to squeeze in an extra hour of sleep on a weekday? Have you ever had your personal life thrown out of balance by your professional commitments?
Haven’t you ever wondered how much more time you would have to spare if you didn’t have to spend hours getting dressed and travelling to and from work? Did you ever want to simply stay at home on a rainy day?
As much as you might love your job, having some time to spare can do you a world of good. ‘All that is great’, you are probably thinking, ‘but who’s going to tell my boss?’
Well you are, and it is really not as difficult as you may think.
Picking the Right Reasons
While you might have your own reasons to work remotely, convincing the boss is all about giving him/her valid reasons that will prove advantageous to the business. Remember to tread cautiously.
While most managers are not completely against telecommuting, you will need strong, well-supported reasons to convince them.
What are your manager’s thoughts about telecommuting? Does your manager think of you as a responsible and valuable employee? Have other employees at your company been telecommuting successfully?
These are just some of the issues you will have to consider while you build your case.
The following are some valid reasons you could use while arguing your case for working remotely:
Higher Levels of Productivity
Between the hours you spend on travelling and the gossipy coworker who sits next to you every day, you are certain that you can get more work done from home.
When explaining this to your boss, however, word your arguments carefully. ‘I don’t like my coworker’, will never be a good enough reason for your boss.
Instead, explain to them how you would have more time for work if you could cut down on the time you spend travelling every day.
Convince them that you have the resources and the space in your home to be able to work without disturbance, and you might actually be able to put in more hours into your job.
Convince them that you have the resources and the space in your home to be able to work without disturbance
If you think your boss needs more convincing, use statistics to do so. You will find a number of surveys held by organizations such as the Computing Technology Industry Association, which conclude that employees are more productive when they aren’t spending time travelling or gossiping.
More Employees, Lower Rent
Office space does not come cheap, and with the ever-increasing rent, your boss is probably paying quite a bit for just your cubicle.
If you were to work remotely full-time, you will no longer be taking up valuable office space. This gives your boss the option to expand on the number of employees in his company, while also keeping office rent in check.
This is a strong argument, and one that could be quite enticing to your boss, if you present it well.
A large number of successful companies hire employees who work remotely, thereby saving millions of dollars in office rent.
A large number of successful companies hire employees who work remotely
Organizations such as AT & T, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Georgia Power and Dow Chemical’s have cut down their office space cost by almost 50%.
Telecommuting would then only be a valid next step for your company too.
More Clients, More Hours, More Money
If your jobs runs on clients and billable hours, working remotely would be an easy and smooth transformation.
You would be easily accessible to your clients by phone or email. With fewer distractions at home and the freedom to work at any time of the day, you would be able to put in more billable hours.
More clients and more hours directly results in more money for the company.
Convincing your boss that you will be more accessible to him while at home, than while at office, might seem like a bit of a challenge.
However, think about how many times you have missed important calls from your boss or coworker while at office. When you are in the copy room, or getting yourself a cup of coffee, or at a meeting, or simply talking to a coworker, and no one can seem to find you.
There are a million things to juggle and million places to hide while at office. Working from home, you will find that you are just a phone call, message, or email away from everyone.
Office Politics Is Exhausting
Now, all bosses may not be willing to let you work remotely simply because you want a break from office politics.
While this is a valid reason, understand your boss before you build your argument around it.
Office politics is a very real problem, one that even a manager cannot deny.
Convince your boss that the quiet and peace of your home is better for your ability to focus on work, your productivity levels, and your job satisfaction.
Snow And Rain Cannot Keep You From Work
This is a particularly good argument if you work in an area with unpredictable and extreme weather.
Once you have set up your office at home, your boss no longer has to worry about rainy or snowy days.
Employees working remotely can assure their bosses that work will be done irrespective of what the weather is outside.
Convincing The Boss
Pick your arguments based on what you know and understand of your bosses’ personality.
Check whether competitor companies or other companies in your area allow telecommuting and whether it has worked well for them.
Collect articles and statistics, and consider creating a written proposal and oral presentation.
Make sure your argument has no weak points and look at it from the perspective of your manager before you present it to him.
If your boss seems hesitant, suggest a trial period, or propose working remotely part-time, for one or two days in a week.
Assure your boss that you will be accountable for all your work, and that working from home would allow you to be more productive, flexible, and accessible.
Describe your workspace, so your boss knows that you have the space and equipment necessary to work from home.
Inform him if you need any specific equipment from office, so he is assured that you are serious about your job.
Be prepared for all sorts of questions. Some of them would be:
- If you do it, everyone else would want to follow…
- You have too many customers depending on you…
- You cannot manage an entire project from home…
- You have two kids, you cannot work without distractions from home…
Make sure you have your arguments in place and are prepared for questions of every kind.
Finally, if you are refused, simply try a different approach.
Telecommuting has worked excellently for several successful organization, and eventually your boss will have to admit that it’s a good idea.