plus. When you allow telecommuting, you’re telling employees
you trust them and respect their desire for flexibility and greater
Employers also reap very real benefits. By not having your entire
workforce on site every day, you have the opportunity to hire more
employees and grow your business without having to rent or pur-chase
a larger workspace. Your talent pool also grows significantly,
as you can recruit workers regardless of where they live. Telework
also allows you to better accommodate employees with limited
mobility and other accessibility needs.
DRAWBACKS OF REMOTE WORK
Despite all the positives, telecommuting may not be a good fit
for everyone. Workers who value face time and the ability to
bounce ideas off each other can feel stymied by the isolation
that comes from not being in the same place as their colleagues.
Others, especially interns and entry-level employees, may not be
experienced enough to set their own hours and work without
Certain teams – creative professionals, for example – do better
when they collaborate in person rather than via Skype or group
chat. Innovation can suffer when the only points of contact are
email, instant message or phone.
From an employer’s perspective, there is of course the worry that
some workers will abuse this privilege. Going for long lunches,
cutting corners and not being available when you need them are
all real concerns.
IS REMOTE WORK RIGHT FOR YOUR COMPANY?
Naturally, there are certain jobs that can’t be done remotely. Retail,
hospitality, manufacturing and education are some of the fields
that require a physical presence or regular in-person interaction.
So, the question isn’t so much whether telework is right for your
business, but rather whether it’s right for a particular role. If the
majority of someone’s assignments can be done with a computer
and a reliable internet connection, then that person should be a
good candidate to work from home.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A SUCCESSFUL
Ready to create a telecommuting policy at your company? Here
are some tips for a smooth rollout:
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Consult legal experts to make sure you’re following laws regard-ing
overtime, worker’s compensation and other employment
legislation. IT experts can advise on navigating issues around
cybersecurity, BYOD (bring your own device) and the off-site
use of company property.
GET MANAGERS’ FEEDBACK
Before you fashion your policy, solicit your company’s manage-ment
team for their thoughts and concerns. After all, they’ll be
the ones to determine which positions and staff members qual-ify
for telework and which do not, so you’ll need their buy-in.
Incorporate their recommendations in the company’s telecom-muting
Make it clear to employees and supervisors that participation is
voluntary and approvals will be given on a case-by-case basis at
the manager’s discretion. Put the agreement in writing so every-one
is clear on expectations and limits, including the employer’s
right to rescind the perk.
ESTABLISH WORK DAYS AND HOURS
Although telecommuters enjoy flexible scheduling, managers
should make clear their expectations regarding general start and
finish times. To get the best of both worlds, allow eligible employ-ees
to work from home only on a part-time basis. Perhaps set aside
one day a week, such as every Wednesday, when all local staff are
expected to be onsite for meetings, brainstorms and to improve
INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY
Telecommuters need a laptop, a high-speed internet connection
and a headset with microphone for phone/video conferenc-ing.
A reliable VPN (virtual private network) is a must if data
security is a concern. Cloud-based platforms make it easy for
employees to access their work from anywhere, so make the
switch if you haven’t done so already.
Telecommuting can be a win-win for everyone, so companies
seriously considering implementing this in-demand perk need to
do their homework to ensure their business and employees can
make the most of it. n
Michael French is a regional manager for Robert Half.
TALENTED PROFESSIONALS ARE
DEDICATED TO THEIR CAREERS, BUT
THEY PREFER TO WORK FOR EMPLOYERS
THAT SUPPORT THEIR EFFORTS TO HAVE
A FULFILLING PERSONAL LIFE AS WELL.
alexbrylov / 123RF Stock Photo
56 ❚ SEPTEMBER 2018 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL