DEAR JOYCE: Can you state the advantages of telecommuting that I can use to persuade my employer to let me work from home? - H.J.H.
Here are eight arguments to offer, thanks to
(1) More than two-thirds of surveyed employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters -- as much as 35 percent more productivity at some high-profile companies such as
(2) Teleworkers typically continue to work when they're sick without infecting others, especially important in flu pandemics.
(3) Flexible hours allow teleworkers to run errands or schedule appointments without losing a full day.
(4) Two-thirds of employees would take another job to ease the commute.
(5) About 78 percent of employees who call in sick are not really sick. They do so because of family issues, personal needs and stress.
(6) A poll of 1,500 technology professionals revealed that 37 percent would take a pay cut of 10 percent if they could work from home.
(7) Some 80 percent of employees consider telework a job perk.
(8) Average real estate savings with full-time telework is
The opening step for someone who wants to bring the current job home is the preparation of a well-researched proposal, a task made easier through online search.
Caveat: When you don't already have a job you'd rather do at home and choose to search online for work-at-home jobs, remember to beware of scammers who are devilishly clever in advertising schemes designed to fleece you, not employ you.
"Undress for Success: The Naked Truth about Making Money at Home" offers more tips on successfully pitching a work-at-home program to your boss, working freelance and avoiding con artists.
DEAR JOYCE: Should a woman who is four months pregnant, but not obviously so, reveal her pregnancy to a potential employer? - Y.C.
She should wait until she receives an offer to bring up the maternity issue. If the company believes it can do without her services for a specified period, her pregnancy won't matter. But if she's to play a role where her absence would create havoc, it's in her best interests to graciously allow the employer to withdraw the offer, asking if she can check back with the company after she's ready to return to work.
Although the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 made it illegal for employers to discriminate against pregnant women, a wise woman will take a long view of working relationships. An employer who feels ambushed may get even in subtle ways that make your friend's working days intolerable.
DEAR JOYCE: You once wrote about getting what you want by asking questions. Can you refresh my memory? - U.R.T.
Learn to use innocuous, but powerful, sales-oriented questions to persuade others to accept your point of view:
"Should we take another look at the design we shelved last year?" "Why do you say that?" "Can we come to some agreement on this issue?" "You know, this job sounds like it is something I would really like to do. Is there a fit here?" "Is it convenient if I check back with you periodically to stay current with your decision process?"
Entire books and online articles articulate the concept of "The Art of Asking Questions." Explore.
Six Mistakes Older Job Hunters Make
Dr. David DeLong an expert in organizational behavior steers clear of painting older job hunters as victims. While he acknowledges that age discrimination is a hurdle, he focuses on ways to make yourself a better candidate in the eyes of employers. One provocative section of his recent report distills the most common mistakes made by older job candidates; I spoke with him about six of the most common mistakes in a recent phone interview
Making Job Networking Work
Joyce Lain Kennedy
I am finding job networking to be a big dud. It is exhausting, frustrating and even humiliating. Is it the nature of the beast, or am I doing something very wrong?
Seven Top Tips for Liberal Arts Grads
Joyce Lain Kennedy
Unemployed liberal arts grads, there's no need to become resigned to home detention. At your earliest convenience, act on the following tips.
Unemployed? Consider Self-Employment!
Consider self-employment. If no one is hiring you yet, using the skills you possess to make money isn't cheating. Self-employment lets you stay current in your field, cover current expenses, network, fill the gap on your resume, and may even introduce you to someone who needs an employee.
Cities Where Jobs Recovery Will Be Slowest
While the nation's job market is awful overall -- thousands of Americans are exhausting their unemployment benefits daily -- it's clear that the true jobs picture is as varied as the nation's topography. With the promise of a recovery on the horizon, new data show that the employment upturn will be regional as well
10 Best Jobs for College Students
These days, a good job is hard to find. But that won't be a decent excuse for a slim résumé when you're sitting across from the recruiter next year. Like it or not, college students are expected to be capable of pulling good grades in tough classes while gaining professional experience on the side. The 10 jobs listed below are great choices for students because ...
When it comes to foreclosure, the problem isn't just the 7.2 million jobs that have been lost during this great recession. There are millions of Americans who took a huge pay cut to keep their companies going. Unpaid furloughs and 10 to 25 percent pay cuts mean tens of millions of Americans are having a much harder time paying their bills -- and their mortgages are at risk as well.
(c) 2009 Tribune Media Services