You’ve dreamed of telecommuting and the freedom it will bring. However, one major roadblock remains in your way – your manager. According to a recent report by the Telework Research Network entitled the State of Telework in the U.S., the biggest barrier to telecommuting for many employees is management fear and mistrust. Whether fearing a loss of control or worrying that productivity will decrease while telecommuting, many managers persistently resist the requests of their employees to telecommute.
If this is your current challenge, you must approach the situation in a methodical and professional manner. This is done by drafting an effective telecommuting proposal and preparing for any arguments the manager may bring to the proposal meeting. The following are a few tips for drafting a telecommute proposal to convince your manager of the benefits associated with flexible work schedules.
- Discuss company benefits – Your telecommuting proposal can’t only discuss the benefits you stand to receive. Rather, to sway a resistant employer, you must also make a case for why the company stands to benefit from developing a telecommuting program. Discuss such employer benefits as decreased office expenses, increased employee retention and more.
- Talk about productivity – If you work for a micromanager, the resistance to your proposed telecommuting arrangement is likely resulting from the manager’s fear of losing control. An effective telecommute proposal addresses this fear by discussing how productivity will be maintained while at home. Discuss such things as the added hours you’ll be available to work each day from avoiding long commutes, your ability to focus when not distracted by coworkers and more.
- Suggest a trial period – A telecommuting trial period may be the best way to show your manager the benefits of telecommuting. Suggest a two-week trial period during which you’ll telecommute for a few days. If your employer experiences the benefits of allowing telecommuting during this trial period, a full-time telework program will likely be implemented.
When drafting your telecommuting proposal, assume your manager’s viewpoint. Consider the concerns the manager may have and how you can effectively address those concerns in this document. From technology dilemmas to concerns regarding information security, each company has different issues that arise when telecommuting is proposed. As such, you must address the main management concerns at your company if this proposal is to be effective.
The following are a few sample telecommuting proposals to assist with your proposal creation:
Convincing a resistant manager to allow telecommuting can be challenging. However, by discussing the benefits the manager stands to experience as well as your plan for remaining productive while telecommuting, you may soon be allowed to experience the benefits of a flexible working schedule.
Do you have additional suggestions for creating an effective telecommuting proposal?