16 Arguments You Can Take to Your Boss on Why You Should be Allowed to Telecommute

I have been fortunate. For most of my adult life, I have been able to telecommute to work. Indeed, from 2000 through 2007, I was able to hold a position as a corporate vice president at a 700+ employee company. During that time, I only had to make a total of 5 business trips, totaling 11 nights away from home. My wife and kids (when they were home) accompanied me on most of those trips, just so they could see places that they would never otherwise have visited.

Because I worked at home, I was able to watch my kids grow up and help my wife around the house so that she could get out and about each day. I was also happy to avoid driving to work and the need to be “dressed for work.&#

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16 Responses to 16 Arguments You Can Take to Your Boss on Why You Should be Allowed to Telecommute

  1. Sharman says:

    Great article. I worked at home for a company out of NY with an office in Georgia(I live in GA). for three years as a Career Services Consultant until I quit in 1999. I started the department, created the policies, procedures, and did all job placements right from home. I went in once a week for 15 minutes for a meeting with my director, and quarterly for a four-hour career development workshop I faciliated.

    You are so right, if you show that you are a hardworker, a go-getter, and get the job done, they do not care where you work.

    Also, telecommuting saves you alot of money in the long run.

  2. aullman says:

    If your boss is concerned about distractions and unreliable infrastructure in the home, you might check into working from a Remote Office Center.

    Remote Office Centers lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located around the suburbs.

    Home telecommuting is only one option. Remote Office Centers provide facilities that are identical to centralized corporate offices, but in a location that does not require a long commute.

    Remote Office Centers are fairly new, but they can be found in many cities.

  3. David Mitchell says:

    Remote office centers are an interesting option but they eliminate a lot of the benefits of telecommuting. I would still make the case for a home office unless you really feel that your domestic situation is not conducive to productivity.

  4. Catherine says:

    I don’t think I could be talked into going to a “remote office center.” While I see how it can work for some people with the commute, it would elimiate nearly everything I love about working from home. It sounds like it would be exactly like going into the office, just a different one. Working from home is wonderful, and I will do my best to never give it up!

  5. Davey Boyd says:

    I’ve been telecommuting for almost two years now, and find that I get heaps of work done. HOWEVER, as you point out in reason one (Be a Hard Worker) about being productive between midnight and 3am…. I agree that it might be productive but its certainly not healthy. Lack of sleep and going even going to bed late can cause hypertension and host of other problems. Telecommuting is not a complete win-win situation.

  6. Monkey Mama says:

    I don’t think telecommuting is all it is cracked up to be (for everyone anyway. Certainly works well for some).

    My friends always brag they telecommute and pity me because I don’t. I just laugh. Been there, done that, HATED it.

    I have another friend who finally met her dream to work from home, and in the end she hated it as well. Shre returned to an office within 6 months. For her, she missed the human interaction, particularly being in a very creative field, she missed the collaboration.

    For me, too many distractions and I really disliked the blur forming between work and home life. I really prefer to compartmentalize the 2. & I found as a tele-commuter I was expected to work ALL the time. My current employer is much more respectful of boundaries when I do work from home, but I still hate it, overall. It is nice to have the option out of necessity (I enjoy the flexibility to work from home when I want to – like if the kids are sick). But It’s just not for everyone.

    But when it works, it works, and employers should definitely be open to that.

  7. Stock Research says:

    Great article and comments. While (as you point out very well) there are very definite benefits to working at home you do lose out on some of the synergy that seems to come from working in the same environment as those with complimentary job functions. Also, visibility is good for your career and growth path so you should plan to make regular appearances at the office.

  8. Osadg says:

    I work from home full-time, and only make about one or two trips to the actual office once a week. For me it was a completely appropriate and welcome change. I do get more done working from home than I ever did at the office, because I’m not constantly bombarded by others asking for me to review this, or help out with that. I’m able to concentrate on my work, and get it all done. And it couldn’t have made my family happier to have me home when they get here! The greatest part of working from home actually turned out being that all the little around the house stuff is done at the end of the day. There is no rushing home to get the house clean, or the laundry, or anything else. Once everyone is home-everyone gets to enjoy being home!

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  10. Jerry says:

    A really illuminating article on the benefits of telecommuting. Of course, I am a bit biased as I am the direct report who had the privilege to work with David Mitchell as a contracts paralegal for over ten years. Unfortunately that wonderful employment came to an end and now I work for a more traditional company where telecomuting for local employees is not allowed. My present supervisor is a micro-manager who closely watches and directs every aspect of her direct reports’ work activities. So telecommuting under that tightly controlled work environment is just not going to happen…

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  12. Maureen says:

    Very good article, and accurate information on what to consider before telecommuting. I have been telecommuting to a software company for six years, and it’s perfect for me! However, telecommuting is personality-dependent. You have to be comfortable with the lack of personal interaction and remote feeling. Also, job security can be a concern when you are out of sight. If you can accept the possible drawbacks, then you’re on the way to enjoying a telecommuting life!

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  16. AJ says:

    Hello

    I have LOVED working from home for the past year (at the company owner’s suggestion) but my company moved and he has decided that they now have room for me and want me to rejoin the office.

    There is one individual that I work with that is superior to me and he has decided that there is a “communication” issue.

    This fellow is an arrogant individual that treats myself and coworker as his private secretaries. He spends all his time on his phone to the exclusion of all else, even in meetings, he “has to take this call” and two of us sit quietly an wait on him.

    I have worked for this company for 11 years. I am a loyal, productive happy employee that is about to face the owner of the company to try to pursuade him that “communicating” with the company isn’t an issue as a whole, but one fellow’s manufactured point. I attend a meeting at the office every Tuesday, I’m completely approachable and have had no complaints from others I work with. I am the purchaser for a distribution company.

    I can speak to any other concern and back myself up, I just have no idea how to deal with a person that is on a power trip and his motivation is purely to have me sit in an office.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you very much.

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