Career Advice  Relocation Resources
14 Tips for Requesting a Telecommute Policy
Technology makes it possible for employees to stay at home and still be connected to the office. AGallup survey shows that the number of employees who telecommute at least one day per month has increased by more than 300% in the past 20 years. In addition, 37% of respondents have worked remotely at one point in their career. This changes the way we work – and it creates more opportunities for spouses/partners when their significant other accepts a relocation.
If you’re moving and want to stay with your current employer, there are definite advantages to requesting a telecommute policy. It can be a win-win situation. For you, there’s no job search during a hectic move. For the company, there’s no need to lose a valuable employee or spend money to recruit and train a new employee.
How should you approach your boss with this request? These 14 planning tips will get you started:
Do your research.
- Determine if your company already has a telecommute policy. If so, you are in luck. Follow the procedures outlined in the employee manual and/or on the company website.
- If there is no formal telecommute policy in place, find out if other employees telecommute. Talk to them about their experience telecommuting and how they arranged the setup.
- Consider the timeline for your relocation. How many months until you move? Will you have to wait until a house sells? Use this timeline to determine when to approach your boss.
- Network with others in the company to gain their support.
- Look at your company’s mission statement and website to see how they present themselves. If they say they care about employee well-being or are an innovative/progressive company, use these branding statements in your proposal.
Prepare your presentation.
- Use the “Oreo” approach. Start with good news – “I love my job, and I want to stay with the company long term.” Then the bad news – “I’m moving due to my spouse’s transfer.” And end with good news – “I have a plan that may be beneficial to us both.”
- Review your strengths, your reputation within the company, and your track record of performance. These will be great to leverage when negotiating a flexible work opportunity.
- Update your résumé to reflect new skills, projects, certifications, and trainings. Share this with your manager during your meeting.
- Hone your interviewing skills to properly present your points, focus on the positives in the situation, and negotiate your case.
- Explain why you are requesting the new arrangement, when your relocation will take place, and how you see the telecommute policy working for you and your boss.
Propose a fair deal.
- The key is to propose a deal the employer won’t be able to refuse. Senior-level decision makers love cost-benefit analysis and ROI numbers. You may need to showcase these benefits, such as how the agreement will lower costs, how you can work flexible hours to cover scheduling gaps, or how much time the company will save by not having to fill your position.
- Consider offering to attend monthly planning meetings or travel to the office once a quarter to maintain rapport with your colleagues. Show your flexibility in striking the right situation for you and the company.
Go for the sell.
- Emphasize how much you like working for the company and want to continue to be a productive contributor. Playing up your strengths, reputation, and track record will help you do this.
- Convey the skills, expertise, and experience that make you a subject matter expert in your role. Once you gain recognition as a sought-after expert, you will have more negotiation power.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for the flexibility you need as your family relocates to a new destination. When you take the time to weigh your options and prepare your case, you might be surprised at how easy it is to find the right situation for both parties.