“Took me 90 minutes to go 11 miles,” a client told me recently with a sigh.
She’s not alone. For many successful professionals, long commutes are sucking time and energy out of their lives at work. But they don’t think their roles are suited for telecommuting, or they worry that it’ll impact their careers.
That’s why I invited my friend and work-life expert Pat Katepoo of Work Options to share her thoughts on telecommuting. Pat’s a leading authority on flexible work, pioneering tools and strategies that have worked for years and continue to be successful today.
Is it Time to Telecommute? How to Redesign Your Role to Work from Anywhere
by Pat Katepoo, WorkOptions.com
Admit it: your daily commute to and from work is stealing precious hours from you and your family.
Countless. Irretrievable. Hours.
Are you ready for a change?
It’s time to take steps to prepare your pitch and answer the king-sized question on your leader’s mind:
“Exactly how will your job get done in a telecommuting arrangement?”
If your leader puts a premium on face time, first make it clear that your (initial) remote working arrangement is for only one, two, or three days a week tops–not five.
Beyond that, you need to clearly outline how your work will get done under your new telework arrangement. The preparation exercise below describes the simple steps for redesigning your job to telecommute.
It also serves as a showcase of your responsibilities and accomplishments which will remind your leader and others who might review your proposal how you are contributing to the organization.
This showcase listing will positively influence their decision if they wisely consider employee retention. So use rich, job-specific descriptions related to your role to highlight your critical contributions. Don’t skimp on the details.
3 Steps to Redesign Your Job to Work from Home (or Anywhere Else)
List the various work functions of your current position. Use your job description and keep a work log to aid you in this step.
Carefully think through the specifics of each job function. Then label each function like this:
- A: This function must be performed at the main office or your employer’s setting.
- B: This function can be done at my home office or other remote location.
- (Ask yourself: which parts of my job are portable?)
- C: This function can be done at either location or “blended” to be done at both.
Include those results as part of your telecommuting proposal. In my Telecommuting Proposal Package, it looks like this:
B. Job Responsibilities
Under the proposed arrangement, all aspects of my position are maintained [optional: with an expected increase in productivity typical of the uninterrupted workflow of off-site work settings].
Below I’ve listed my main job responsibilities and tasks with explanations on how each one will be handled within a telecommuting environment.
[List the job functions under letter A]
[List the job functions under letter B]
EITHER OFFICE (optional)
[List the job functions under letter C]
Then continue with more details. I suggest you include sections on:
- Physical Set-up and
- Employer Benefits.
Think through how your off-site arrangement will impact the work and workload of others in the office (besides, of course, your leader) and how you’ll garner their support.
You’ll need to meet with some of them to get their input, identify possible problems that might arise with your arrangement, and to work through mutually-agreeable solutions or adjustments.
Why Not You?
Millions of other professionals are telecommuting, working remotely part of each week. Why not you? Start by redesigning your job to do parts of it from home (or anywhere else).
Pat has an awesome do-it-yourself telecommuting proposal template that you can download today and present to your leader tomorrow.