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Now’s a Good Time to Make a Pitch to Your Employer to Allow you to Telecommute

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 11/05/05

The high cost of gasoline may have a hidden benefit for American workers as many employers now are more open to the idea of “telecommuting” as a way to save money and boost efficiency. Heck, even the President has gotten into the act by embracing conservation and by urging employers to cut their energy consumption. Furthermore, the congestion from the Bay Bridge construction and the availability of technology that makes it easy to work from home are additional factors that create a favorable environment for telecommuting.

If you’ve been thinking about telecommuting a few days a week to your job now is a great time to make a pitch. But first, here several factors to consider as to whether it’s a good idea for you.

  1. Does Your Job Lend Itself to Telecommuting: Does your job require your presence in the office full-time? Make sure that there are components of your job that you can do remotely.
  2. Are You a Good Candidate for Working Remotely: The minimum requirements to succeed are that you’re a self-starter, able to work alone, and have great self-discipline. You’ll likely put more pressure on yourself working at home than at the office.
  3. Impact on Your Career: Consider how not being in the office full-time may impact your career and your “promotability.”

Ok, so you’ve decided that telecommuting is a viable option for you, now what? Well, here are three action steps to get you on your way to working at home a couple of days a week.

  1. Determine if Your Company Already Has A Telecommuting Program: Check with your Human Resources department first. Make sure there’s no policy against it.
  2. Put Together Your Pitch: Be sure to focus on the benefits not only for your company, but specifically on what’s in it for your boss. The most persuasive points include money or time-savings and productivity increases. You’ve got to make the business case for your request.
  3. Prepare a Written Proposal: A few factors you’ll want to address include…
    1. Start with a trial period
    2. Try it a couple of days a week
    3. Outline the components of your job that you could do from home
    4. Talk about your availability and accountability requirements


Telecommuting is growing every year as more employers discover the benefits. After all, most employers now are more interested in the results that you can deliver than in policing the amount of time that it took you to deliver them.

For more information and a list of references including a sample telecommuting proposal and guidelines on how to work up a cost-benefit analysis for your boss go to talentplanet.com and click on Dr. Greg. Have a great morning.


®2005 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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