Your buddy works from home.
You see how much time, stress and money you can save by eliminating your daily commute to and from the office.
You realize it’s important to the environment to reduce your carbon footprint.
You love your job but you know you’ll get more done at home, where you won’t be interrupted by your manager and co-workers.
You’ve answered “yes” to the following questions:
1. Can I do my job at home?
2. Am I self-motivated to meet my deadlines and goals?
3. Do I have a home office to minimize distractions from my family?
4. Am I accountable?
5. Does my boss respect my work ethic and trust my ability to work independently?
Congratulations, you’re ready to join the millions of people around the world who work from home.
Hey, boss, I’m ready
Now you just have to convince the boss that you can do it.
We have some suggestions for approaching your supervisor or manager and showing her the benefits of letting you work remotely.
1. Ease into it
Have a plan to start with one or two days a week working from home. It gives your manager or supervisor an opportunity to gauge how you work from home, the quality of work you produce, whether your work ethic holds up and how you communicate back to head office.
2. Keep your nose clean
Don’t have any red flags in your file — or even your boss’s head — before approaching the boss to work from home. You want to be considered trustworthy and accountable by the people who are making decisions.
Let them know you meet — and beat — deadlines with quality work. You may want to mention a Regus productivity report from last fall that shows 75 per cent of managers surveyed believe flexible work schedules increases productivity.
3. Ensure availability
You’re already a good communicator … it’s one of the traits of people who make ideal telecommuters.
You should be ready to amp it up a bit and be available to your supervisor and teammates. You’ll demonstrate you’re accountable and dedicated to your job.
Make sure you let your boss know you:
✓ Are ready to file daily or weekly progress reports
✓ Have a solid internet connection in your home office
✓ Have the right technology in place to make communication fluid, eg. instant messaging, email, phone, conference calling and web conferencing
4. Plan visits
Schedule visits to the office to remind everyone what you look like. Even though we’re all workmates and we lead professional lives together, we’re still human beings.
It’s important to connect personally with your supervisor and teammates and remind them you aren’t just an email address or voice at the end of a phone number.
Share important news with your in-office teammates and bring them a round of coffee and doughnuts when you drop by. That’s all part of being a team and building the camaraderie that keeps everything working smoothly.
Make a plan for yourself
Remember that telecommuting can be a lonely pursuit.
As much as you’ll enjoy the solitude when you start working from home, you may start to miss the team dynamic.
Get outside, make contact with your friends and family, and be social.