In your quest to convince your boss to let you work from home, be ready to respond to his or her objections to telecommuting.
Every manager is different, of course. There are some who readily respond to an outstanding proposal with agreement to at least a telecommuting trial period.
Even so, be ready to address any push back, just in case.
One of the more common objections among those who are apprehensive about managing a remote worker (read: fear of losing control) is this one:
“If I let you telecommute, then everyone else will want to.”
Here’s an example of how to respond:
“In practice, other companies find that most people prefer to continue their usual work arrangement. Many people and some jobs are not suited for telecommuting. In my case, it’s a good match. Why don’t we go ahead and give it a fair trial period?”
You can stop with that short reply or add the following:
“Should there be a strong response to my arrangement, we could explore setting up a procedure for dealing with new requests. There are lots of employers using telecommuting as a productivity and employee retention strategy. [Employer name] could benefit from these advantages, too. Why don’t we view my trial period as a test?”
Be Strategic in Your Responses to Get the Green Light
Notice a couple of things: One, you’re ending each response with a question that invites reasonable action—and a reasonable response from your manager. It’s subtle, but effective.
If you find the “Why…” question structure too bold, you can modify it to “Would you consider…”
“Would you consider giving me a fair trial period and then evaluate?” and “Would you be open to viewing a trial period as a test?”
Two, the question focuses on the trial period which is a smaller hurdle for managers to jump when making the decision to grant a telecommuting arrangement. Propose a trial period of three months, working remotely two days a week.
Prepare for Other Possible Objections to Telecommuting
What are some other common objections to telecommuting? How can you prepare for them?
OBJECTION: “We’ve never done this before.” OR “It’s not our policy.”
OBJECTION: “You’re a manager; you can’t telecommute.” (Get the reply.)
OBJECTION: “Your type of job can’t be turned into telecommuting.”
OBJECTION: “Why do you want to telecommute anyway?”
How would you answer these? Get scripted replies to all of the above and more in the Telecommuting Proposal Package.
Rehearsing Makes a Difference
Practice, practice, practice your responses to each likely objection.
It will make a difference! Why?
Because even if you can’t recall the words exactly as written when you present to your manager, your repetitive practice will imprint onto your mind the essence of each response.
As a result, you’ll be able to respond readily and confidently when faced with each objection. Confidence is a big part of a successful negotiation—including your request to telecommute.
The Fastest Way to Get Telecommuting Approved
Like thousands of professionals before, simply fill in the blanks of the Telecommuting Proposal Package template to customize your request to work from home.
“I used your method to secure a one-day telework arrangement, which at the time was a first for this department…You made this so easy!” Kacie Harkins, Product Development Manager, The Chickering Group, An Aetna Company, Cambridge, MA