Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

What's the best way to ask if a company is open to telecommuting?

Before you decide to speak to your boss about the possibility of telecommuting, get your presentation organized. You'll want to find out if your company already has any kind of telecommuting policy and whether you qualify for it. If the company you work for has a human resources department, start your search there. Research whether your company's competitors have telecommuting options and put together information about the benefits of telecommuting for the company.

One of the worst ways to try to convince your boss to allow you to telecommute is by stressing the advantages that the arrangement will have for YOU (that you'll be able to spend more time with your children or you'll be able to get your work/home life back in balance). What you should do instead is stress the advantages that this arrangement will bring to your boss and the company; for example, you’ll be more productive or you'll have more time to devote to company business instead of the time you use to travel.

For the meeting with your boss, prepare a written proposal and an oral presentation that you've practiced with a friend or co-worker. Aside from showing the boss that you've thought about the topic seriously, the written proposal allows him or her to review your points at his/her leisure. To make the idea of telecommuting more palatable to your boss, you can offer to start on a trial basis and show exactly how you're planning to keep up with the workload and deadlines. You can even include a chart along with the written proposal that lists which responsibilities you'll take care of when in the office and which will be done at home. According to the National Telework Association, most telecommuters work from the office two or three days a week and work from home the rest of the time. Assure your boss that you'll attend work meetings in the office and explain how you'll be reachable when working from home.