Current headlines have stories about the “gig economy,” “virtual teams,” “telecommuting” and other modern working arrangements. Telecommuting is the issue most discussed with the professionals I work with.
Even though this is a hot topic in the news, it’s difficult to predict the policies and attitudes about telecommuting at individual companies. In most cases, there’s some uncertainty about the arrangement and how it may work out. If you ask if there’s an option to telecommute, you probably won’t get a definitive answer. It depends on the company’s options, and you’ll likely only get an answer after you’ve gone through their vetting process.
When you get to that point, both you and the company can properly discuss a telecommuting arrangement as well as issues such as compensation, vacation time and travel expectations.
Remember that companies need to weigh your wants and needs versus what the rest of the company requires. They may be able to tailor a position to suit you, but there needs to be a certain level of balance.
A company may not usually allow telecommuting, but they may allow it for you, after you’ve proven to them that there’s a high probability that it will work out. It’s important to be open about your goals and intentions, and understand that although it’s not a perfect system, an agreeable solution or compromise is often worked out for both parties.