7 Tips for Considering Telecommuting as a Military Spouse
If you are interested in working from home or alleviating the stress of daily traffic, you may want to consider telecommuting and teleworking. Telecommuting eliminates your commute by allowing you to work from home, while teleworking reduces your commute by allowing you to work from a telework center closer to home.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you're considering working from home or teleworking:
- Be proactive. Before your spouse gets a new set of orders, see if your current company provides telecommuting or teleworking options. Many employers have technology that makes this alternative available to employees. Have a plan in place to show your employer how you will make telecommuting work for the company before you ask if you can do it.
- Coordinate with your employer. If you get the green light to work from home, find out if your employer will provide your computer, phone, internet access and other telecommuting equipment, or if you will have to supply your own.
- Consider looking for another job with a company that offers telecommuting. If you don't get permission from your current employer, search for telecommuting jobs with other companies. The Military Spouse Employment Partnership is a great place to start your search. You can also review a list of MSEP partners who offer telework opportunities.
- Comply with all military housing regulations. If you live on a military installation, before you make telecommuting arrangements, check with your housing office to make sure that regulations allow you to work from home.
- Comply with local laws. Be sure you meet all licensing, certification, tax and zoning requirements to comply with local regulations.
- Do a critical self-check. After you sort out the logistics of working from home, such as having the necessary technology in place, assess whether or not your home could also be your place of work. Decide if you can work from home without too many distractions. Also, be sure you can dedicate space and time for work each day.
- Consider how a future move may affect your arrangement. As a military spouse, you may have to move, possibly overseas. It is important to find out how moving out of the area could affect your telecommuting arrangement.
How to approach your boss about telecommuting
Be ready to illustrate to your supervisor how telecommuting could improve your work performance:
- Increase your efficiency. Controlling the hours you work will likely make you a more effective and efficient employee.
- Reduce your stress. Reducing your job stress can increase your productivity.
- Increase your job satisfaction and morale. Getting greater job satisfaction from your flexible schedule can boost your work morale and renew your company loyalty.
- Reduce absenteeism. Telecommuting can reduce the number of days you are unavailable to work because you can work from home when you have a cold or when the weather is bad.
If telecommuting or teleworking sounds like a good fit for you, read more about portable career options in “Building Job Skills and Funding Your Portable Career." Also, log in to MySECO to get education and career-building tools designed just for military spouses.
Visit the MSEP Job Search on MySECO to search for jobs that may provide telework opportunities.