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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Approach your boss about working from home, Part 2

Telecommuting benefits to the employee, this is what its all about right? Here are some of the benefits to the telecommuting employee, remember to mention to your boss that a happy employee is generally much more productive when you are going over your reasoning for working from home.


  • Cost Savings - This is the big one and really is enough for most people without any other benefit. Lets quantify it a little more specifically, if you drive 45 minutes each way to work, 5 days a week, in a moderately large metropolitan area, this could be your savings:
    • Commuting: 90 mins a day is about 90 miles at 25 mpg = 3.6gal/day times 5 days a week = 18 gallons a week at about $3.95/gal for a total of $71.1/week in gas. Substitute your train/bus fare here if that's your transport of choice.
    • Even if you bring lunch you are bound to spend about $30/week on food and snacks
    • If your employer does not offer free parking include that here
    • If your car insurance could be lower due to fewer miles driven, lets say its a 10% discount on about $150/mon for insurance that's $180/year
    • Clothing is another big one, f you could wear casual clothes every day instead of buying suits/business casual attire, what would you save? add in dry cleaning savings as well, lets figure $50/week for clothing and cleaning.
    • Wear on your vehicle, this is variable but if we are using 90 miles/day in our example lets use the federal mileage rate of 55.5 cents per mile, that's $250/week in car repairs and maintenance.
    • So lets add it all up and we get about $400/week in costs saved associated with going into an office, and we didn't even get into the possibility of deducting some expenses at tax time for your home office.

  • Time Savings - This is the other big item for employees, imagine if you got back all your commuting time to do with what you please. This will vary from 20 mins a day to 2 hours, plus all the hassles associated with parking, bad drivers, stopping for gas, getting tickets and the general stress of being in your car for 1 to 10 hours a week. You could spend it playing with your kids, doing work around the house, working out, writing a blog or even working on work! Again don't forget to mention to your boss that a happy employee is general more productive and less likely to leave for seemingly greener pastures.
So to summarize, when approaching decision makers with your request to work from home, make sure you are clearly demonstrating why its good for both parties, and what the benefits will be for the enterprise if they should agree to it, and be ready to answer the 'Why?' question with facts and well thought out arguments. If you are offered a trial run or a part time option to work from home, I would consider this a win and take it while graciously thanking your boss for the opportunity, because after time passes and they get comfortable with the concept you can easily have the 'full time from home' conversation again. 
If you are heading down this path and want my opinion on your particular situation as an experienced teleworker, please leave a comment, and Good Luck!