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How to Convince Your Boss to Work From Home

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Maybe you want to be there when the kids get home from school, are looking to cut day care costs and with gas prices hovering around $3.50 a gallon, who wouldn’t want to conference call in their jammies. Many workers would like to work from home, but don’t know how to approach the subject with their boss. Here are a few tips to help make your case. 

Benefit Your Boss – Yes, there are many benefits to you staying home, including saving gas money and saving on a dry cleaning bill, but what’s in it for your work place? You need to lay it out for your boss why you working from home would be good for your work place. Coauthor of the book, Undress for Success: The Naked Truth About Making Money From Home, Kate Lister says that there are so many interruptions at work during the day, “it takes an average of 30 minutes following an interruption to get your head back in the game. At home, there are significantly fewer distractions.” She adds that studies also show that workers spend an average of 60 percent of the workday away from the office, so we’re working remotely already.

Set Parameters – When you’re writing out your pitch, use specifics. Say you want to work from home three days per week. Kate that’s the “sweet spot” for most industries. You can get work done at home and put in the necessary “face time” at the office. She also suggests a trial period. Two months is a reasonable amount of time to see if telecommuting works and set a list of goals with your boss before the trial period and review them at the end to make sure that you’ve met or exceeded expectations. That way, if the boss isn’t satisfied, you give them an out.

Make Yourself Available – Make sure you let everyone (boss, coworkers, clients) know that even though you are working from home, you are still available. Give them your cell, land line (if you still have one), instant messaging, and email address. Now that you’ve made yourself available, it’s imperative that you respond to all work related communication. Even text messages. That way, if your boss was hesitant to allow you to work from home will be pleasantly surprised at how responsive you will be. Kate says that this is not a shock. “This is a good gig for employees and they don’t want to screw it up.”

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive of 23 hundred American adults, over one third of them would log off of Facebook for good if they could work from home. Others say they would divorce their spouse, ditch their smart phone, forgo a raise and give up showering if they could work from home. What would you give up?

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