Telework is an arrangement allowing an employee to work at an approved alternative worksite — home or telework center — during any part of regular, paid hours. A company makes the determination to offer telework opportunities based on its mission and operational needs. Jobs requiring the physical presence of an employee, dealing with sensitive information or needing the input from others on-site may not be suitable for telework. Be sure to do your research before you make the request to change your status from traditional employee to teleworker.
Ideal traits and skills for teleworkers
Working from home or a telework center is best suited to employees who have the following traits:
- Self-motivated and high-performance focused
- Independent, knowledgeable and skillful
- Comfortable with solitude
- Strong time management and organizational skills
- Strong communication and networking skills
- Computer and technical skills
Prepare your request
Research the advantages and disadvantages of telework before you approach your supervisor about changing your work status. Use the following suggestions to prepare your request and build a solid case for why teleworking will work for you and benefit the company:
- Familiarize yourself with your company’s policies and procedures.
- Develop a written proposal and a presentation focusing on what telework can do for the company.
- Emphasize your value to the company and the traits that will make you an effective teleworker — cite your performance evaluations and work accomplishments.
- Offer your reasons for wanting to telework focused on benefits for the company — increased productivity and minimized facility expenses.
- Propose a trial period.
- Suggest ways to measure accountability.
- Describe your workspace — a room with a door you can close, desk, telephone, high-speed internet connection, printer, etc.
- Address any personal issues — child care, care for elderly parents.
- Discuss equipment needs.
- Be prepared to address questions and objections.
- Consider all possible disadvantages and develop your recommendations on avoiding these issues.
If you are considering a telework option, check out the following resources for information and guidance:
- Military Spouse Employment Partnership Telework List — a list of MSEP companies and organizations offering telework opportunities
- Virtual Work: Separate Job and Home — advantages and challenges of telework
- Workplace Flexibility Toolkit — information about flexible workplace arrangements
Contact a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO to discuss your telework questions or for assistance at any stage of your career lifecycle.