Meeting with your supervisor or manager and requesting a work at home arrangement is stressful enough. But writing the proposal to do so can add to the pressure, especially if you are not accustomed to writing business documents. However, a well phrased, thorough telecommuting business plan can greatly enhance your chance of success and can make your boss realize that you’re serious about working from home.
First, your proposal should have a title page with the title, the company name and address, your name and the date. It should be broken into several portions: an overview, an introduction (sometimes combined with the overview), an assessment portion, discussion regarding statistics and how they apply to your situation, and finally, a recommendation portion. Let’s look at the structure of each part.
Overview and Introduction
This is the first chance you get to make your case, so your opening paragraph needs to be a strong and persuasive one. Begin by discussing your current job description and giving a general assessment of the benefits of a telecommuting plan to both employee and employer. Give a brief description of your home office and any applicable equipment you have that will help you do your job. Briefly discuss cost savings to the company here, and possibly give a short description of why you want to work from home. Make sure that you leave emotion out of it (i.e. don’t complain about coworkers).
This section can be a brief paragraph summarizing the fact that your job could be performed from home. It’s also helpful at this point to put in a few sentences about how much easier and cheaper it is for a company to keep well trained employees than hire new ones.
Begin this section by summarizing research you’ve done (and you should have done research) regarding productivity of telecommuting workers. It might be appropriate here to summarize the statistics regarding the number of telecommuters and how that number grows each year. The internet is a great source for these studies, and you’ll inevitably come up with numerous statistics which state that employees who work from home are as productive (if not more so) than when they were office-based.
Next, synthesize this information and apply it to your situation. Be very specific about your situation, how you plan on working, where you plan on working, and what you’ll do about a computer, about meetings, and any other information relevant to your situation.
Finish your proposal with specific recommendations regarding what you will do and what the company needs to do in order to transition you to a work at home employee. List equipment you need to do your job and who will pay to purchase it and who will maintain it. Either indicate that your salary and benefits can remain unchanged or specify that you would like to enter negotiations based upon your new situation.
Have someone proofread your business plan before you go present it to your supervisor or manager. Be sure that the grammar and spelling are both correct and that it makes sense. Be prepared to speak to your boss without the use of the plan itself- the plan should be for them to read and consider after the meeting. Most importantly, be confident and self assured when you write the plan and enter the meeting. Confidence can work wonders whenever you’re asking for a change in employment, and this situation is no different.