Here's how to make the case to telecommute that benefits both your employer and you -- in five simple steps.

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You're clocking in long hours at the office. Your coworkers are catty. The cost to commute into work is killing you -- and your budget. There are so many reasons why you might want to ditch your in-office cubicle and work from home. Here's how to sway your boss:

Do your research. Get a copy of your employee handbook to find out if working from home is already an option offered by your company. If it's not clearly stated, contact your company's Human Resources department to get clarification. That way, it will be easier to plead your case if other employees are already successfully working from home.

Create a plan. Take a long, objective look at your current job responsibilities. Figure out which aspects of your job (such as writing reports or preparing legal documents) can be done from a home office. Chances are, the majority of your duties can be done working at home. Make a bulleted list to bring into your meeting.

Be prepared. Try to imagine every potential problem your boss might have with you working from home. Maybe she's concerned that she won't be able to reach you during office hours. So let her know that you have a dedicated work phone line and high speed Internet. Inform her that you also have a separate home office and childcare coverage in place.

Schedule a meeting. Sit down with your boss and explain to her that you'd like to work from home. But instead of complaining about why you need to telecommute (i.e. your commute is too long, you're getting home too late, you're tired and cranky all the time), point out the positives instead. Sans a 3+ hour daily commute, you'll have more time to dedicate to work and be productive. Working from home saves the company (and you) money. And showcase other employees within the company who are also successfully working from home to give your boss some much-needed perspective.

Offer alternatives. Since your employer is used to seeing you day in, day out at the office, she might be hesitant to commit to a full-time work at home schedule. So offer some options that will make her feel more comfortable. For example, you might work 3 days in the office and two full-time days at home to start. Once your boss sees that you're productive -- and accessible -- working from home, you just might be on the way to working from home, full-time.

With proper planning, it's possible to negotiate a work from home position that will make you more productive -- and put you one step closer to that ever elusive work-life balance.

Jennifer Parris is the Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit or tweet @flexjobs.


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