Telecommuting is a special work arrangement that allows employees to work outside the office. It’s also the way of the future. Telecommuting has been known to increase employee morale and allow for greater work-life balance. This freedom also stimulates productivity and even saves on office expenses. Of course, it’s important to plan your telecommuting program carefully. An ill-prepared plan can result in confusion and inefficiency. Here’s what you need to know before crafting a viable telecommuting plan for your business.
Use the right tools
Communication with employees is key to the success of a telecommunications set-up. It’s important that you have the necessary tools. Email, messaging applications, web-conferences, and websites should be easily accessible and easy to use. Many companies like Lingo.com offers services such as audio conferencing and web collaboration tools, which streamline communication for employees and customers. Make sure your communication tools are reliable and are guaranteed to boost productivity, connectivity, and collaboration.
Strike a balance between in-office days and telecommuting
Your company doesn’t need to be completely virtual. Remote work options should be flexible, and it should take into account the requirements of certain roles and personal preference. For example, American Express’ telecommuting set-up requires employees to answer a survey that categorises each of them as either “home,” “roam, “club,” or “hub.” There might be some team members who are more valuable in-person, while others can do their work just as efficiently without having to be physically present in the office. Some employees can choose to work at home every day, while others can choose to take only one or two days off from reporting to the office in person. You should talk about it with your team and see what works for them.
Trust your employees
It’s easy to fall into the trap of micromanaging employees who are not physically in the office, but you should consider telecommuting as an opportunity to build trust between you and your employees. You can do an occasional check-in to receive progress status updates, but if you constantly badger a telecommuting employee, you risk significantly hampering their productivity. You’ll also be fostering a hostile and distrustful environment. In this situation, it would do well to sit back, relax, and trust that your employee can do their job well. After all, there’s a reason you hired them to join your team.
Define your expectations
You should clearly state the requirements of your telecommuting arrangement with your employee. This is to avoid any confusion and a failure to meet expectations. Your contract should clearly state the agreed-upon telecommuting schedule, the expectations of availability, employee compensation, and required deliverables, among other things. Depending on what you need, you can always add more conditions to your agreement. What is important is that it is clearly understood by both you and your employee.
Telecommuting can change the way you work for the better. It’s especially beneficial if you’re having trouble keeping employees happy and content in your company. Of course, not all businesses can benefit from a telecommuting set-up, but it’s still worth looking into before you completely write it off.