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Making It in San Diego: How to convince your employer to let you telecommute

Posted: 2:37 PM, Jul 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-30 21:37:18Z

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Telecommuting sounds like an appealing idea: no long commute, no office drama, and the option to work in your pajamas.

If this is a choice for you, the next step is convincing your employer to accept the switch.

Kate Lister is president of Global Workplace Analytics, which develops flexible workplace strategies for employers. 

The company created a long list of the benefits of telecommuting, including:

  • Reduces traffic accidents
  • Reduces stress, illness and injury
  • Saves employees money on daycare and housing
  • Lowers dependence on foreign oil
  • Slows down the brain drain on Baby Boomers

Lister says the first step is convincing your boss of the benefit.

“You need to make the business case from the employer’s perspective; what’s in it for them,” Lister says.

Also, be patient. Your employer may be dealing with concerns including internet security, OSHA rules, zoning, and jealous co-workers who aren't allowed to telecommute. 

She recommends steps for making your case .

Do the research: See how telecommuting can increase your productivity. Will it lead to less absenteeism? Will the change make you more loyal to the company? These factors can sway the mind of your employer.

Define goals: Give your employer ways to measure your productivity. Many of the arguments against telecommuting revolve around the employer not knowing what the employee is doing. If you have measurable goals, the guesswork will be removed from the equation.

Offer your boss a pilot: Test the telecommuting system to see if it works for both of you. Keeping the door open for success or failure makes most employers more amenable to negotiation.

Document your days: Are you spending eight hours working on one project? Or do you dip into multiple projects? A log of how your time is spent can be useful as your trial period nears an end.

If your employer approves the telecommute, Lister recommends you communicate more to stay engaged in the workplace - even if you’re not in the office.