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How to Sell a Telework Program to Your Boss

So you want to telework, but your boss may not be hip to the idea – yet. To win your supervisor's approval to telework, you will need to create a clear and concise case. This outline should detail how working offsite will benefit your productivity. Include the dynamics of how and why you or your team will be more efficient working offsite. Creating and presenting this case will show your initiative and demonstrate that you've thoroughly thought out your request. To begin:

  • Make a detailed list of the specific tasks you can effectively complete away from the office
  • Describe how you will effectively communicate with your office, team and management while working offsite
  • Anticipate any questions your supervisor may have, and have answers ready

Carefully detail how a telework program will benefit your productivity, your department, and your supervisors. Whenever possible, quantify these benefits, including:

  • Increased productivity
    Example: Will your proposed telework plan help you avoid wasted time spent in traffic? Could it benefit your team's productivity? If you did not endure a long commute or traffic, would you have more energy or be more focused and productive?
  • Improved morale and company loyalty
    Example: If you had the flexibility of teleworking, would you feel more positive about your job? Why? Could this affect your feelings of loyalty to your company? Does this allow a better overall work/life balance, ensuring a longer working relationship with your company?
  • Decreased absenteeism
    Example: If you were able to telework, would you be less likely to leave work early, come in late, or call in sick?
  • Reduced traffic congestion
    Example: Will your proposed telework plan allow you to spend fewer hours stuck in traffic? Would a telework program enhance your employer's public image through a visible and proven method of reducing air pollution, cutting back on fuel consumption, and minimizing its impact on traffic congestion?

You may want to present the "Teleworking: Truth Vs. Myth" chart we’ve provided to help answer some of your manager’s common questions and fears.

After compiling the research and writing your case, you'll be ready to present your rationale to your supervisor. Remember to anticipate questions and answer them with care and confidence. Most importantly, teleworking must be a win-win for both you and your boss.

For a more detailed, step-by-step guide, see the interactive E-Learning module, How to sell telework to the decision makers at your organization.