5 Tips to Make Telecommuting Work for Your Employees — and Your Business
Today many employers permit telecommuting at least part-time, especially during vacation months, to accommodate employees’ need for flexible work arrangements. Telecommuting can also benefit a business by increasing employee satisfaction, reducing absences and operating costs, and boosting productivity. To reap these benefits, employers need to structure and manage their telecommuting programs properly.
A successful telecommuting program must be clearly defined and well-managed. Follow these guidelines to formulate a program that will benefit your employees and your business:
- Clearly define the goals of the telecommuting program. Determine what benefits you expect both employees and the organization to gain from implementing telecommuting options for your business.
- Evaluate your technology readiness for a telecommuting program. Determine whether your business has the necessary networks, equipment, telecommunications, software, and infrastructure to support telecommuting.
- Assess how well-suited potential telecommuting employees are to telecommuting. The best candidates for telecommuting are employees who are self-directed and self-motivated. Telecommuters should also have demonstrated an ability to remain productive despite distractions.
- Clearly communicate expectations for onsite and offsite presence to your telecommuting employees. Establish “in-office” hours for telecommuting employees. Make sure employees understand when they are expected to be onsite for in-person business such as meetings and reviews.
- Establish a written policy that outlines the details of your company’s telecommuting program. Your policy should define required working hours, permitted expenses, and security requirements. You can view a sample telecommuting policy in HR Support Center’s Policy Library under the Essentials tab.
When implemented in a structured and clear way, a telecommuting program can benefit your clients and their employees. For additional information, check out the Telecommuting Agreement in HR Support Center’s Guides section under the Essentials tab, and articles that discuss telecommuting, such as “Telecommuting and Flexible Work Schedule Policies” in the Articles section under the Knowledge tab.