Negotiate a Flexible Schedule
by Michael Chaffers
Q. For several reasons I need to either work from home or telecommute. How do I negotiate truly flexible working arrangements?
A.This certainly can be done. Your job is to persuade the company to agree with you that working from home makes sense - for you and for them. Therefore, in your letter, emphasise the benefits the company will receive as a result of you working from home - such as being more productive because you can work during time you otherwise would be commuting and because your morale will be higher. I would also anticipate some of the company's concerns and make sure your ideas also address them - such as how you will be able to communicate with other employees, your willingness to come in for certain meetings, how you can demonstrate that you will be more productive. If there are other people in your company (or in similar companies) with responsibilities similar to yours who telecommute or work on flexible schedules, then using those examples as successful models may also be quite persuasive. Finally, if you face resistance, try to clarify the significant concerns of the employer and develop new ideas that address them.
If you are new to the organisation or your current position, try to seek the help of a colleague (preferably in management) who has some experience at the company and can help you anticipate any concerns your boss might have.
If this is an important issue for you and you are interviewing for a new job, be sure to have this conversation before accepting a job offer. Good luck!