Thinking about asking your manager to let you telecommute? Here’s how to prep for that discussion.

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Are you longing for a shorter commute, a more flexible schedule or even just a day to dive into a passion project for work? Telecommuting could be the answer.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 37 percent of workers say they have telecommuted, up from 9 percent in 1995. If you want to tap into this growing trend to work remotely a few days a week or month, answer these questions in preparation for a pitch to your boss.

Can you do your work remotely? First and foremost, do you physically need to be on-site to do your work? In our growing digital culture, many jobs can be conducted remotely at least part-time, but it could be tough for professions where face time is paramount to success and performance, like traditional teaching, sales or nursing jobs.

How does your boss feel about telecommuting? If your boss’s feelings on telecommuting aren’t clear to you and your co-workers, try having an open and honest conversation. Ask what his or her general thoughts are on letting employees work from home, and if they aren’t necessarily keen on the idea, all is not lost. Their feedback should provide important insight into what you can highlight when making your case.

Why do you want to work from home? This is a key part of your proposal to telecommute. Everyone has personal and emotional reasons for wanting to work from home, like avoiding office politics or not having to get ready in the morning, but don’t share these reasons with your boss. Focus on how you can improve your productivity, overall performance or your workplace culture. For example, there is a lack of space in your office for all full-time employees to comfortably work 40 hours a week.

How will you ensure success? As part of your request to work from home, think through the tools and tactics you’ll use to ensure your success. You’ll want to make sure your boss and team are apprised of your status and progress on projects. Which tools can you use to make collaboration easier? Will you need to schedule a touch-base phone call each afternoon (it’s a good idea)? These success factors will be important to call out, particularly if others from your office don’t already telecommute.

And my final tip: If your boss is still hesitant about the idea after you’ve made your case, ask for a trial period to prove you can be successful working outside of the office.

Lisa Quast is a certified executive coach, and the author of the book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach. Email her at