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I wish to negotiate a change in my employment status from Full-time telecommute worker to Part-time telecommute contractor.

For context: I am a Systems Engineer in Australia and the company is a small 'start-up' (<10 people) with an even smaller IT department (2 people). The purpose of changing work agreements is so I can travel whist working and work for other businesses.

I wish to begin negotiating the change via email; where I can better articulate my case in writing - I am not the most assertive person. I would then hope to have an in person meeting with my General Manager to discuss and provide elaboration where needed but I see the email as where I make my strongest case.

  • Does this kind of correspondence help or hinder my chances?
  • Would an in-person meeting/phone call to give a 'heads up' of my intentions be better. Then I say I will email/mail my formal 'proposal' to my GM. Then we discuss in person.
  • Should I also correspond/negotiate with my 'supervisor' (Engineering Manager - EM) or just the GM? The GM hired me. I report to the EM about technical things but not employment or contract related things.
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    My thought on this is it honestly doesn't make much difference. You're going to have to dive in and break the news. It's a tiny group, and you're all on site (correct?) Walk right over to the GM and break the news. – Fattie Jun 13 '17 at 12:27
  • Perhaps you should edit and clarify if you're all on site in the same office, or if it's distributed team? BTW I would warn you that, after all the careful planning, it's totally possible (indeed, likely?) the owner will just reject the idea without a moment's thought. Also BTW I would strongly consider saying that you "aim to live in City X in Europe for one year" rather than "I want to travel around in Europe for a year". – Fattie Jun 13 '17 at 12:31
  • I will point out that in a company that small, they may not have the flexibility to have you work only part time. And under no circumstances tell them that you want to work part time for other businesses as well. Just be prepared for a no with no negotiation. – HLGEM Jun 13 '17 at 14:14
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Does this kind of correspondence help or hinder my chances?

Generally discussions about employment status should be conducted face-to-face whenever possible. It that regard, it's also easier to ask and answer questions, and to respond to non-verbal cues.

Would an in-person meeting/phone call to give a 'heads up' of my intentions be better. Then I say I will email/mail my formal 'proposal' to my GM. Then we discuss in person.

If you aren't typically co-located, then it makes sense to ask via a quick phone call or email for and set up a face-to-face meeting.

Should I also correspond/negotiate with my 'supervisor' (Engineering Manager - EM) or just the GM? The GM hired me. I report to the EM about technical things but not employment or contract related things.

That's hard to tell. You need to discuss your request with the person who could grant it. If that's the GM, then schedule the meeting with the GM. At the end of the meeting ask if you should inform the EM, or if the GM will.

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I think I would email the GM with a cc for the EM. I would outline what I wanted to discuss and ask for a face to face meeting to discuss your proposal in detail.

The initial email would give them time to discuss your email at a higher level and prepare for the meeting. You then also have time to polish what you want to say and consider counter arguments to likely objections.

I believe this is something that is best fully discussed face to face, however an initial email to set the agenda wouldn't be unprofessional. I think it's better than asking to discuss something without any warning on the likely subject.

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