conference call with onconference conference call logo loading...
  Compare Us | Guarantee | Testimonials | FAQs | User Guides | Contact us

Managers: Take baby steps to make telecommuting work

You’ve been following along with the recent workplace trends.

And now you’re wondering if flexible schedules and telecommuting might work for your team.

It isn’t an easy decision for a manager. You feel like you might be losing a bit of control over your employees. You can’t watch what their doing and you can’t drop by their cubicles to check on their progress and deadlines.

telecommuting manager

Think about the benefits.

Staples’ third annual telecommuting survey reveals virtual work is a perk you can use to attract top talent in your industry. A large majority — 71 per cent — of respondents said the option to work from home is key when they’re considering a new job.

The survey also shows 69 per cent of those surveyed feel less stressed, up from 48 per cent in 2013.

Employers in the survey reported:

✓ Happier employees (65 per cent)
✓ Less frequent absenteeism (33 per cent)

Less stress, fewer sick days and happier workers often leads to increased productivity, and that seems like a win-win for everybody.

Paul Mullen, Staples Advantage vice-president of technology solutions, acknowledged the benefits in the survey’s news release.

“Not only does telecommuting lead to a happier workforce, it’s also a critical benefit to have from a recruiting standpoint,” he said. “Employers who are flexible and support their staff with the tools they need to telecommute have a definite recruiting advantage.”

Make it work

You might be wondering how to fit telecommuting into your company’s processes.

It takes a thoughtful, well planned approach to ensure your goals are met and everyone on the team, including you, is held accountable for their work.

Follow these guidelines to score some quick ones with your telework program:

Ensure it works for you

Telecommuting has to mesh with the job tasks your employees have to accomplish. If their presence is required in the office — for example, meetings with clients or project stakeholders — they shouldn’t be working from home full time. If any employees are needed for hands-on job duties, they should be in the office or be considered for part-time telecommuting.

Start slowly

A pilot project might be the best way to ease in. You could select a handful of employees to work from home for one or two days a week. If all goes smoothly, take the next step to allowing more participants in the program and more days a week spent at home.

Set some ground rules

Telecommuting and flex schedules often come with more flexibility than just freedom from the commute and office noise. Many telecommuters work different hours with breaks throughout the day to handle personal business and work toward work-life balance. If you need your staff at their home-office desks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., make sure they know that.

Establish the communication plan

We have the technology to make telecommuting easy. Use it. Set up a schedule for update meetings via conference call, set up an intranet for employees to engage with you and their teammates, and require progress updates from everyone. Encourage your team to communicate with each other, so they can collaborate and innovate without your guidance.

Be available

You can no longer walk around the office, checking in on everyone. That doesn’t mean you’re getting off scot-free. You need to stay involved with your telecommuters’ daily tasks, removing the obstacles in their paths and inspiring them to new heights. Be as proactive as you can, especially with challenging projects or irregular workloads, and be responsive to their needs.

Your turn

It’s important to maintain an “open-door policy” with your telecommuters, just as you do with your in-office employees.

What are ways you manage your team to find success in the virtual work world?

Posted in Observations & Answers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  Conference Calls | Teleconferencing | Web Conferencing | Webinars | International Conference Calls | International Teleconferences
24/7 Operator Support Conferencing Center 1.800.804.8608 • Inquiries 1.877.466.6266 Home | FAQs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | User Guides
© onConference Inc. 9550 S. Eastern Ave. Suite 253 Las Vegas NV 89123 U.S.A. ( +1.702.273.3054 ) 08:00 - 17:00 ET (UTC-4)
5000 Yonge St, Suite 1901 Toronto, Ontario M2N 7E9 Canada Canada ( +1.613.225.4249 ) 08:00 - 17:00 ET (UTC-4)

FCC Registration No. 0018147173       Industry Canada Corporation No. 85439 3139