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Telecommute Jobs - Strategies and Tips
Nimish Thakkar, MS, MBA, CCMC, CPRW

Telecommute jobs benefit both employers and employees

Ever wished your daily commute could be as easy as visiting a spare bedroom? Innovations in technology have made telecommute jobs a workplace reality. In fact, many employers now encourage telecommuting (work from home) and often feature it as a key benefit in their talent attraction toolkit.

Contrary to popular belief, telecommute jobs benefit both employees and employers. The obvious benefits to employees include gas savings, flex time, family bonding, and stress reduction, among others. At the employer end, benefits of telecommute jobs include reduced office space costs, increased employee retention, improved productivity and morale, fewer conflicts, and more.

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My story

In addition to my career coaching practice, I often consult organizations in the areas of search engine marketing, marketing and technical communications, outplacement consulting, and recruitment. At first, I had to turn down many projects because I did not want to stay away from family or leave the comfort of my own office. After a few missed opportunities, however, I developed a system that has worked for me consistently. The following strategies have worked for me:

Start smart, do your homework

Do some homework before you accept your next position. The key is to find employers who encourage telecommute jobs or have a policy -- however informal it may be -- to accommodate work from home requests at least a few days a week. Accept the fact that some employers and professions are not designed for telecommute work (telework). Even if your profession isnít suitable for telecommuting you can always negotiate a day or two of work from home time.

Promote your value, establish authority, gain bargaining power

To be on the demanding side of the negotiation table, you must establish yourself as an authority, a must-have employee. Once you gain recognition as a sought-after expert (please read my articles on career management to learn how), you will have more negotiation power (I speak from experience) and the balance will tilt on your side more easily. In the absence of such authority, your reputation and track record as a dedicated and motivated employee can be valuable leverage for negotiating telecommute work opportunities.

Prove effectiveness, offer a pilot

If your employer is not familiar with telecommuting, volunteer to do a few extra projects from home. Once your superior realizes you are disciplined and uncompromising when it comes to quality, she will be more willing to listen.

Propose a fair deal, talk balance

On one of my projects, I offered the client an extra hour of work every evening in exchange for telecommuting benefits. It worked. The key is to propose a deal the employer wonít be able to refuse. Find whatís important to the company and then propose a deal based on that need. It could be an extra hour, half-day on Saturday, late evening work Ö any offer your boss wonít be able to refuse.

Showcase benefits

Senior-level decision makers love analysis (cost-benefit analysis) and ROI numbers. In order to make a compelling case for telecommute work, you may need to showcase benefits -- increased productivity, proximity to client, lower costs, extra hours, whatever helps your cause.

There are downsides to telecommuting as well. Employees, for example, may want more interaction or may feel they are missing out on promotional or networking opportunities. Employers, on the other hand, may want more control. Despite these drawbacks, the overall benefits of telecommute jobs far outweigh the disadvantages and contrary to what critics have to say telecommute jobs are here to stay.
 



Nimish Thakkar is a certified career coach, outplacement consultant, and resume writer with ResumeCorner.com and SaiStrategies.com. Thakkar holds two graduate degrees, including an MBA. He has worked with thousands of clients and has authored over 100 articles.

Related Articles:
Telecommute Work Resources
Telecommute Jobs
Telecommuting
Career Management
Networking

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