Want to test the telework waters? There are all kinds of good reasons for introducing a telework program, ranging from reducing real estate costs to giving employees a better work-life balance, which often results in increased productivity. But there are some keys to rolling out a program the right way, such as utilizing a trial period to make sure it’s the best option for both employers and employees. Read Ann All’s post with a list of tips on introducing a telework program, from companies who have been there and from Ann herself, who’s been telecommuting regularly for more than a decade.
Click through for important tips to ensure your telecommuting program is a success.
Create a check list to analyze each job function for telecommuting compatibility. Look specifically at the type of work performed, the employees’ personalities, and the performance measurements you’ll put in place to optimize the initiative’s success.
Think about where the program will be implemented: who will be off-site and when, who will not, and what the company will look like. Most employees will want to telecommute or participate in a four-day work week, but many won’t be able to. Be prepared to deal with this fairly and sensibly.
Consider the related IT costs of telecommuting. Ensure that your organization is equipped for virtual work arrangements, including appropriate software, computers, connectivity, security and technical support. Virtual work arrangements can increase demands on IT staff if they are not well implemented.
Use a formal telecommuting agreement that clearly articulates the terms of the arrangement. It should cover company expectations, who is responsible for equipment and appropriate workspaces, scheduling, etc. Most importantly, it should establish telecommuting as an accommodation, not an entitlement, that can be modified at-will by the employer, should company requirements change.
Consider launching with a pilot program. This will help work out the kinks in a relatively controlled environment.
Some time in the office will almost certainly be required for telecommuters. This can help address the decreased teamwork and sense of belonging that may occur in those who are not in the office on a regular basis.