TelecommutingBy Barbara Safani

Telecommuting continues to be a hot topic among job seekers as people strive for more work/life balance and flexible arrangements. But I think there is a misperception about how to secure a telecommuting arrangement. It’s unlikely that you will land a telecommuting job through an online job board (and be wary, because most of these opportunities are scams). Most telecommuting jobs start out as traditional jobs that evolve to a more flexible arrangement through a mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. You must first prove to an employer that you are trustworthy and loyal and that the telecommuting arrangement presents benefits for the company as well as the employee. If you are considering requesting a telecommuting work arrangement, here are some potential employer benefits you can reference during your conversation.

Increase In Work Hours
The telecommuter can continue to work during the time they would normally be commuting. This increase in productivity can translate into company profits like money earned, saved, or also result in more interaction with important clients.

Reduced Infrastructure Costs
Employers can save on their real estate, technology and telecommunication costs by offering telecommuting arrangements.

Decrease In Distractions
Traditional office settings are plagued by time wasting activities and ongoing interruptions. Who hasn’t been in a situation where they were constantly interrupted by people coming into their office to ask questions? And how often have you seen co–workers wasting time gossiping by the coffee station? All these distractions can be eliminated in the telecommuting arrangement.

Increased Morale
Employees that have greater control over how they manage the competing demands in their lives tend to be happier in their work. This positive attitude can contribute to increased productivity and better rapport with colleagues and clients.

Increased Employee Loyalty And Retention
Employees who feel that their employers are supportive of their need for workplace flexibility tend to stay with their companies longer. In the long run this saves employers the enormous costs associated with sourcing and training their replacements.

If you hope to secure a telecommuting arrangement in the near future, start targeting companies that embrace workplace flexibility now. Start off with a traditional in–office role and prove your ability to be productive with limited supervision. Build trusting relationships with colleagues, clients and supervisors. Doing so will help improve your chances of securing a telecommuting arrangement at some point in the future.

Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers, has over twelve years of experience in career management, recruiting, executive coaching, and organizational development.