“I’d like to ‘telecommute’ my job. How do I approach my boss?”

Question: I have a great job, a great boss, and the work environment is excellent. However, for family reasons – ailing parents in need of my help – I need to relocate overseas. If at all possible, I would like to continue to work in my job, but remotely, from overseas.

How should I present this to my boss? I would be willing to take a pay cut, reduce my hours, or near anything to get my boss to agree with me. I’d even be willing to try it on a trial basis. Any suggestions?

Wendy, from Irving, TX

Answer: You haven’t told me much about what it is you do at work. Obviously, if you are a house painter or massage therapist, remote work is an impossibility. Therefore, I must assume that at least some good percentage of your work is the kind of work that can be done (a) over the phone, (b) over the internet and/or (c) by means of mail/distant delivery.

As an employer, I have had two employees ask me something along the lines of what you may ask your boss. Both showed me their value, on a daily basis. So, I didn’t want to lose their value to me, if at all possible. For both, we devised a way to continue working together.

Both of my employees approached me (a) privately and (b) in person, and both (c) presented me with the following 10 points:

1. I enjoy my job, and working for you.
2. For family reasons, I need to move my residence.
3. I would like to continue working for you, remotely, by use of telephone, internet and Fedex.
4. I am willing to adjust my hours, the nature of my work, my pay, and other aspects of our working relation to make this work.
5. I am willing to find out what technological solution(s) can assist us in doing this.
6. If and when my family situation permits, I would like to return to in-office work for you.
7. I am committed to you, and to working with you, and to finding a way to continue to do so.
8. You have always treated me fairly, and I have always tried to be of true value to you.
9. I would be willing to do this even on a trial basis.
10. Do you think we can, at the least, try this?

I said “Yes” to both. Why don’t you give it a try. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

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Best, Al Sklover