Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Four Ways to Get Your Telecommuting Proposal Approved

You know why you're here: you want to telecommute and you're looking everywhere for the magic exlixir that will take your telecommuting dream to your workaday reality. Dear readers, Stella does not have that secret sauce. But I do have some ideas that may mean that your telecommuting proposal will be favorably received:

1. Be A Star: Okay, this might not be entirely within your control, but people with key skills, key projects, and an utterly stellar record have better chances of meeting with telecommuting success. It's not just being a teacher's pet: people who are really great contributors are unlikely to fall off the map just because they put on slippers. Also included in your stellar performance must be exemplary work habits -- unless it's part of your corporate culture to show up whenever, you reinforce your image as a reliable machine by showing up with a religious zeal for timeliness.

2. Remember It's Not About You: Focus on the company, its needs and desires. Your proposal should focus almost exclusively on the benefits to the company (freeing up real estate, improved disaster recovery preparedness, improving the company's carbon footprint, whatever).

3. Prove That It Will Work: Figure out the technologies and tools long before you make the proposal. Even if you're not especially geeky, when you become a shut-in, you absolutely have to take much more responsibility for your own technical fate. Nobody wants to send someone home and they have to deal with a bunch of ID-10-T errors.

4. Be Reasonable: Don't issue ultimatums, don't make it hard for them say yes. One of the reasons that you're a strong telecommuting candidate is because of your long-term commitment to your company. Help the company come up with a solid telecommuting plan and agree to be a guinea pig without making a big commitment first. You'll make it work, and you'll make them happy that you paved the way.

Now wasn't that easy?

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