The Telecommuting Pitch: Convincing Your Boss to Support Remote Work

Are you ready to convince your boss to support remote work? Virtual Vocations offers tips on ways telecommuting is best for you and for your boss.

Whether you want to become a telecommute employee for a traditional, brick and mortar business or your company has decided to go remote, there are multiple telecommuting benefits for employees and employers alike. Virtual Vocations has been in the business of telecommuting for more than 10 years, and over that time we’ve regularly surveyed our subscribers, as well as industry experts, to compile stats on telecommuting benefits.

Learn more about the telecommuting benefits for both employees and employers. Then, use the tips and information within to make the telecommuting pitch for your boss to support remote work.

Telecommuting Benefits for Employers

When making the case to support remote work, starting the conversation with your boss by addressing telecommuting benefits for the company could soften your boss’s hesitation and open the lines of communication.

Better Work Outcomes

As your company transitions to remote work, your employer may switch from a time-based work structure to a task-based one. The shift to this kind of work mindset will result in improved productivity. Instead of just going through the motions to satisfy a time-based structure, you’ll now be able focus more on the outcome of what you’re producing. This simple mindset shift has been productive for many telecommuting companies.

In order for a task-based productivity model to work, you and your manager will have to establish clear goals for work expectations. This should include discussing priorities, like how much time to spend on various tasks (ask for a ranking of importance), and learning to delegate or ask for help as needed, rather than becoming overwhelmed. Strive to over-communicate with your remote co-workers and managers alike and provide regular, voluntary reports showing your accomplishments.

Also, talk with your employer about the importance of virtual communication. If it’s important for them to reach you at any time, make sure you factor instant messaging, phone calls, or video conferencing into your day. It can build trust, and help reinforce with your clients and co-workers that you’re available and working when they are. It also wards off any unfortunate trouble with co-workers who may be looking for reason why you should not telecommute.

A Smart, Healthy Workforce

According to our 10-year anniversary survey about telecommuting benefits, more telecommuters (a whopping 76.8%) prepare and eat healthy snacks when they work at home, instead of consuming processed snacks, carryout items, or vending machine goodies. Having access to healthier snacks and meals will boost productivity and help eliminate that mid-day work slump. When it comes to exercise, you and your telecommute co-workers will need to be mindful to keep moving throughout the workday.

Related: Summer Telecommuting: Food and Fitness Tips for a Sedentary Work Style

Luckily, one of the biggest advantages of working remotely is having greater flexibility and control over your schedule. Remote workers have more time to set up a workout routine and, due to a lack of dress code, can more easily transition to workout mode. It also may be easier to create a non-conventional work area, as those decisions are now truly up to you. Consider a standing or treadmill desk to log those extra steps during the day.

In addition to having a healthier workforce, another impressive stat about telecommuting employees is the high amount of post-secondary education they possess—more than 80% of telecommuters have a higher education diploma or degree with over 30% holding at least a bachelor’s degree, according to Virtual Vocations’ research.

Employer Support

Speaking of that educated and experienced workforce, Virtual Vocations has tools to help your company attain and build one. We offer a Virtual Vocations Employer Portal, where your company can establish an employer profile, which includes crucial company information, hiring trends, website and social media links, and recent company news.

Other perks offered by the Employer Portal include promotion of remote businesses on Virtual Vocations’ social media accounts, which can increase business interest, and contact with and assistance from a dedicated Employer Relations Manager. Priority emails about your company’s job listings will be sent to nearly one million job seekers; those listings will also be posted via a weekly Employer Alert blog post highlighting recent openings from our employer partners. And the best part? All these Virtual Vocations services are free to telecommute-friendly companies.

Overhead Cost Savings

From rent for office space to the cost of insurance and utilities, running a traditional business is expensive. When your employer pledges to support remote work, the company will need less office space and office furniture, saving on overhead. Your company may also save on ID badges, required in many office complexes, as well as the security staff required to monitor comings and goings.

Getting Greener

Thanks to less paper waste, due to remote communication platforms like Slack, companies who support remote work boast low carbon footprints. Another cost- and energy-saving consideration is that many telecommuters use their own equipment, rather than having the company provide it. This results in huge cost savings, as well as fewer office items ending up in a landfill.

Greater Employee Satisfaction

Nearly every study we’ve conducted over the years has shown telecommuting increases both productivity and employee satisfaction with their jobs. This satisfaction can roll over to more company loyalty. You may have heard the saying “Don’t let experience walk out the door.” By offering telecommuting as an option to experienced employees, your company may be able to keep that knowledge and experience in-house.

Telecommuting Benefits for Employees

In order to gain more data on telecommuting, we turned to our subscribers to ask them what kind of benefits they discovered when working remotely. Virtual Vocations found that telecommuting improves the quality of life of remote workers, largely due to the factors outlined below. Companies who support remote work will help bring the following benefits to their employees:

Flexibility

This continues to be the number one benefit for employees: having the ability to schedule work to fit your life. Virtual Vocations found 66.5% of telecommuters consider greater flexibility over their scheduling and time to be the best telecommuting benefit. Do you have to pick your children up from school every day at 3:30?—you can do that now.

The key to finding success in a flexible work schedule, for both employees and employers, is to have trust and achievable results to show for your time. Scheduling flexibility means you can spend more time with your family and spend less time commuting to and from work, thereby achieve better work-life balance, too.

Cost Savings

There are a whole host of savings associated with telecommuting over commuting to a traditional office. We looked at the Virtual Vocations 2016 Year-End Report survey and found that 83.5% of seasoned telecommuters save on clothing, gas, other car-related expenses, and meals.

Extending Your Career

Nearly 48% job seekers on Virtual Vocations are aged 50+, according to our 10-Year Celebration Survey, which matches trends captured in our 2016 Year-End Report. If you’ve been in a sales career and traveled, or if you’re a stay-at-home parent getting back into the workforce, you may find many outstanding opportunities in telecommuting.

Related: 6 Tips for Older Career Professionals & Remote Jobs

One of the great things about telecommuting positions is that many of the companies hiring are smaller organizations. This can be a big plus: instead of competing with hundreds of applicants that are flooding in due to high-end recruiters, you may have a smaller pool of competition. Another advantage is that smaller companies may not use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which screen out applicants that don’t utilize the correct keywords in their resumés.

To enhance your chances of landing that telecommuting position, subscribe to Virtual Vocations and access the Telecommute Toolkit. In the toolkit, there are a number of resumé templates to help you craft your information perfectly for a remote position. There is also a telecommuting handbook, interview guides and industry guides for specific telecommute-friendly industries. And if you need further help, Virtual Vocations offers experienced customer service pros that can assist you during your job search. Give us a call at 1-800-379-5092, email at customerservice@virtualvocations.com, or try Live Chat Support on our homepage.

How to Pitch Telecommuting to Your Boss

1. Check Your Employee Handbook

First, check the most updated copy of your company’s employee handbook or policies and procedures guide—telecommuting policies have become more commonplace over the past few years, and your company may already have one in place.

2. Get the Telecommuting Toolkit

Become a Virtual Vocations member and get access to the Telecommute Toolkit. In the toolkit, you will find:

  • The Telecommute Compatibility Job Worksheet
  • A Telecommuting Cost-Savings Benefit Guide for Employers and Employees
  • A Sample Telecommute Work Proposal

3. Access Your Job’s Telecommuting Potential

The first step to asking your employer to support remote work is to assess whether or not it can be done remotely (and rest assured, your boss or company will ask you this question). Doing the work upfront shows that you’re aware of what it takes to go telecommute. Your employer also may ask, “Do you have adequate care for any dependents, including children, elderly family members, and pets?” and “If your job requires that you handle client sensitive or confidential information, do you have provisions in place to keep that information secure?”

4. Emphasize the Benefits to Your Employer

Increased employee retention, fewer absences, and reduction in overhead are just some of the potential benefits your employer can experience when transitioning to a telecommuting workforce.

5. Put Your Request in Writing

In order to cover all the pros and address the cons of telecommuting, it’s important to put your request into a well-written proposal. The Virtual Vocations Telecommuting Toolkit offers example case studies, showing how other employees have thoroughly documented information that your company will need in order to consider a telecommuting arrangement. Within your proposal, make note of what your daily schedule will look like, when you’ll be accessible and how, what equipment you’ll use, and what specific tasks you’ll complete while telecommuting.

6. Meet Employers in the Middle

You can offer some ideas that may sway your employer toward telecommuting, like willingly signing a waiver for company legal responsibility for on the job injuries injuries, offering a trial time period for the telecommute arrangement, and taking on responsibility for costs associated with your internet, phones, and even office paper—all of which would save the company money.

Have you successfully made the pitch to be a telecommute employee? Has your company switched over at some point? Share your answers when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 


Telecommute Jobs at Virtual Vocations


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