Remote Working – How to Get Started
Telecommuting or remote working is an arrangement which allows employees to work from home or other remote locations. This can be a powerful tool to attract and keep good people to your business. However, like everything you should have a plan and strategy in place before you allow your employees to have access to remote working.
Some Things to Consider
Remote working is not an employee benefit but an alternative method for offering flexibility to an employee’s work schedule.
Since telecommuting is a privilege a business can offer, the organization has the right to refuse to make telecommuting available to an employee and to terminate a telecommuting arrangement at any time.
To have success, I think remote working should be evaluated on a person by person basis. With a policy and strategy in place you can then look a the employee and see if they fit the requirements.
For a company to have success with remote working you must have the technology in place to support it. This is very important because many companies that have tried telecommuting in the past and said it failed. After reviewing, it failed because the tools and technology were not in place to allow the employee to be successful.
You must have access to email from outside the office and from multiple devices.
A collaboration or project management tool to stay up to date on completed requirements and assign new tasks and projects.
Voice and video conferencing are powerful and should be made available to improve online meetings.
These are some of the requirements, they should be adapted to meet your business goals.
Strategy Requirements & Recommendations
- Signed agreements by employee and employer
- Identify a schedule that works for both parties
- Agreement that the arrangement can be cancelled with 30 day notice
- No change in terms of employment for the telecommuter
- Should highlight a benefit for Employer and Employee
- Technology in place to allow the Employee to work remotely
Recommended Employee Skills
- Should be self-disciplined and capable of working with little supervision
- Should have strong verbal and written communication skills
- Should have appropriate knowledge of the technology used to telecommute
- Has proven themselves with consistent and productive work habits
- Has access to an environment that will allow them to meet work requirements
Sample List of Work that lends to Telecommuting
- System Admin
- Technical Writing
- Software Development
- Graphic/Web Design
- Course Development
- Administrative Task like email, reports, budgets etc.
That should get you started in developing and deploying a remote working strategy for your team. Properly planned you can gain many benefits beyond the fiscal ones that are noticed immediately. Happy people are productive people so let them get out and play once in a while.