Telecommute to protect against the Coronavirus
Telecommuting is in the news these days, but the idea of working from home has always held some appeal for many workers. Advantages to telecommuting include eliminating a lengthy commute, allowing more flexibility to pick up or drop off children from school or child care, avoiding delays in getting to work due to weather-related concerns, and isolating yourself from contagious illnesses such as the current global concern against the spread of the Coronavirus. In fact, it was only a few days ago when I saw a report from CNN Business with a title that started with Sick employees should stay home to fight coronavirus.
Jobs suited for telecommuting
Certain types of jobs are more suited to telecommuting. Some jobs in information technology, customer service, finance, sales, marketing, and research lend themselves to remote work. Technology has enabled even some jobs that used to require face-to-face interaction — such as counseling, security, and legal jobs — to be telecommute positions, at least part of the time.
If you’ve been thinking about telecommuting, there are a few things to consider:
How to write a proposal to telecommute
With the answers to these questions in mind, it’s time to put together your proposal to telecommute. This can be a simple 1- to 2-page document, but it should definitely be in writing.
Here are some of the things to include in your proposal:
A sample proposal to telecommute
To: Jane Manager
From: John Employee
Re: Proposal to Telecommute
Attached you will find a proposal to consider my request to telecommute two days a week. I am proposing a 60-day trial period, with an evaluation at the end of the two months to evaluate whether I could continue telecommuting after that time.
I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you later this week to discuss this in further detail. Thank you.
Given the current collective concern about the spread of the coronoavirus, many employers have asked their employees to work from home.
With winter weather approaching — and a 45-minute commute even when it’s sunny and dry out — I am interested in exploring the possibility of working from home two days per week. Telecommuting has grown in popularity within the financial services industry as a whole as a way to boost productivity and efficiency, especially when working on client research and longer-term projects, like our strategic planning initiative. Telecommuting also has proven to provide a positive impact on employee morale and employee retention.
I believe I can be more productive working from home two days a week. Research shows that remote workers are typically able to achieve 10-30 percent more work due in large part to the reduced number of interruptions compared to a normal day in the office.
I would propose working from home on Tuesdays and Fridays, although I am open to your input on the specific days. Mondays are obviously a heavy client contact day, in addition to having our weekly status meeting, so that would be a day that I would probably not suggest. In addition, if there is an important meeting or client event on one of the days designated for me to work remotely, I would be happy to adjust my schedule to accommodate that specific need.
I am open to starting my workday at 7 a.m. and working until 3 p.m. on my telecommute days. Without my usual commute, I would be available to start work earlier than normal, and finishing at 3 p.m. would allow me to pick up my children from school on those days.
With our current technology systems, I can access my files and client documents at home securely. I already have a dedicated home office with high-speed Internet access and an ergonomic chair. I have a desk with a locking file drawer to ensure the security of hardcopy client data that I would bring home with me. In addition. I have a shredder for secure document disposal.
By utilizing the company’s existing VPN and remote access software, I can ensure secure access of client data on my work computer as well as on the company’s network. I would also be open to using a company-issued laptop for my work at home, if that would be preferable. If a separate phone line is required, I can install a landline at the cost of $35/month (including taxes and fees) with my existing provider.
You may have concerns about my accessibility to you, my co-workers, and my clients, and my ability to work independently while at home. I will be available and accessible during our regular office hours. I will keep in contact with you, co-workers, and clients via either my cell phone or a dedicated phone line, in addition to staying in touch through email and text messages. My work voicemail message will refer callers to this alternate number.
The specific job responsibilities that are appropriate for remote work include client research, writing, strategic planning, working on monthly and year-end reports, and preparing for upcoming meetings (both internal and external).
Each week, I will create a status report outlining what I expect to complete on my telecommuting days and how much time I anticipate devoting to each task. I will track my time during remote days and report what I have completed at the end of each week. I will save the tasks that are best completed without interruption for my telecommuting days.
I have identified a couple of potential issues and solutions:
I hope you will consider my request based on my past work performance and my contributions to the company over the last four years.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to discussing this with you further.
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