Telecommuting, not quite as awesome as teleporting but it is a close second. It is also a mutually beneficial tool for both management and for the workers when it is implemented correctly.
Recently the practice of telecommuting has come under fire because major companies like Yahoo and Best Buy are either eliminating or cutting back on their telecommunicating and ROWE (results only work environment) programs.
Does that mean telecommuting just doesn’t work then? Or maybe it just doesn’t work for those companies right now? So does that mean it also can’t work for you and your company? No, that’s not what it means. You aren’t Yahoo or Best Buy. Your company, it’s management and your workers have different needs from those of either Yahoo or Best Buy.
Today we have the technology at our fingertips, literally, that gives us the ability to do a lot of our traditional office work from home. Why let this freedom go to waste? A lot of companies have had a failed go at telecommuting, which has soured the taste of it for them. But telecommuting doesn’t just mean you can write your reports and reply to emails from the couch, or wherever you decide to work from at home; there is a lot that goes into a successful telecommuting program. It is worth a look to possibly give your employees extra time, freedom and space that telecommuting will give them.
Can you hack it?
Obviously, not every employee is going to be able to telecommute. Telecommuting is not a right, it’s a privilege, and not everyone is cute out for it. Here are some things that should be considered when offering telecommuting options to employees.
Does this person:
– maintain a high level of productivity on their own?
– have concerns about working alone for periods of time?
– maintain the ability to come to the office for meetings and other events?
– need more supervision than normal?
– meet deadlines and goals on a regular basis?
– communicate well and often?
– prize organization?
These questions can narrow down the list of employees who can make it from home and those that can’t.
Is the technology there?
Technology is the most vital part of telecommuting and without the proper equipment, it would be impossible for your employees to be successful. For telecommuting to be successful, you need a list of the equipment that your employees will need to have in order to do their job and make sure that they know how to operate all of this equipment properly. They also need to have screensharing apps that will allow them to login to their work computer.
Second only to having the right technology that makes it physically possible to telecommute is the ability for the managers and employees to maintain good communication while not face-to-face. Establishing a line of communication that is streamlined is vital here. You can use fax, email, text, IM, Skype, Facebook, DropBox, etc. That list can go on for a long while. Choose a mode of communication that everyone can adhere to and stick to it.
Performance and Work Hours
The number of hours that employees should be dedicating to the company should be made clear, or how much and what work should be done in a specific time frame. Also, the terms of the termination of the telecommuting program need to be made clear. It is also a good practice to hav the employees in the office at least one to two days a week/month for some face time and to allow them to touch base with their co-workers and supervisors. You don’t want your employees to feel like expectations have not been clearly communicated with them.
Don’t Fire the Babysitter
While telecommuting does give families more time together, it doesn’t mean that you will be replacing childcare by letting the parents work from home. Unsupervised children in the home will be a likely demise to your telecommuting program.
Read more about the benefits of telecommuting here.Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.