Higher fuel prices have caused many professionals to look for ways to reduce the cost of commuting. Combine this with the added availability of home office technology, and it's no wonder more individuals are working remotely. In fact, in a survey conducted by our company, more than two-thirds of executives polled said it's common for their companies to offer employees off-site work arrangements. Moreover, 82 percent of managers said they expect the number of employees who work remotely to increase in the next five years.
Of course, not all positions lend themselves to remote arrangements. Jobs that require a great deal of face time with colleagues or customers, for instance, cannot be performed outside the office. If your role allows for flexibility, you may want to discuss working remotely with your manager. Here are some questions to ask yourself before making a request:
* What's in it for them? Managers will respond more favorably to your request if they know the arrangement will benefit the company and not just you personally. Will the arrangement save your firm money or increase productivity?
* Have I thought through the details? Your supervisor will want to know key information, like why you are a good candidate for telecommuting, technology tools and upgrades you will need to successfully manage your workload, and security measures you have in place at home or at your proposed remote work site to protect company information.
* How will I stay in touch? Think about how you intend to interact with colleagues to ensure projects stay on track. Also, offer to provide regular status updates so your manager knows your progress on assignments.
* How will I stay visible? To avoid being overlooked for plum projects or promotions, maintain plenty of face time with your managers and colleagues. Schedule important meetings for your on-site workdays.
* How can I show the arrangement will work? Ask your supervisor if you can try telecommuting on a trial basis, working remotely one or two days a week. Propose several meetings with your boss throughout the test period so you both can evaluate how the arrangement is working.
OfficeTeam is the world's leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative and office support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide, and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.