Telecommuting means saying goodbye to a gas-guzzling commute. Try these negotiation techniques to get your boss to give you the greenlight to work from home. The numbers on the environmental impact of telecommuting are pretty eye-popping, so if you can get your boss to agree, you can make a big ecological difference by staying home, even if it's just for a day or two each week. Plus, you'll save time, and reduce stress, by getting out of traffic and having a little peace and quiet to yourself.
Be More Connected
If your boss shows concern that by being offsite, you'll slip off the same page everyone else is on, offer to make yourself even more available to co-workers than you are when you're in the office. In addition to keeping your cell phone on, hook up a webcam, or be available for real-time instant messaging. Set up an online fax number where it'll be easy for collaborators to send you documents. Suggest that on the days that you're telecommuting, you can call in to work to touch base at the start, and at the close, of the day. Let your boss know that he or she will always have your ear, even if you're not in the room.
Tell Your Boss Why
Be up-front about your reasons for wanting to switch up your routine. Let your boss know that green telecommuting is a growing trend, that eco-smart bosses and workers everywhere are giving this carbon-footprint-shrinking solution a go, and that you'd like to hop on the emission-reduction wagon. The fact that you?re interested in and educated about your ecological impact, and want to take initiative to do your part for the planet, may earn you respect, and can even be a chance to flaunt a little knowledge about global issues. Showing your supervisor that kind of active concern and commitment will help allay any fears that you're just looking for an excuse to sit on the couch all day, eating potato chips and watching sitcom re-runs while laughing heartily at the poor saps slaving away in the office. (Although, when you are at home in your pajamas instead of a suit, you can always spend your lunch break gloating if you want.)
Suggest a trial run, where you work from home just one day a week for a month. During this time, really bust your tailfeathers to get things done long-distance. Push yourelf to finish a big project, land a new client, or do whatever else it'll take to impress your overlord with the fact that less time in the office doesn't mean less productivity. Keep a clear, clean, and concise log of what you're achieving when you're not in the office, and share it with your boss at the end of the trial period. When your boss sees how well telecommuting works out, you may be able to negotiate for more offsite time.
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