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Telecommuting Isn’t A Right, It’s A Privilege.

Originally posted on Recruiter.com July 22, 2013.

Create a Telecommuting Program that Works

medium_3363262014When implemented correctly, telecommuting can be a mutually beneficial tool for both management and the workers. The (sorta) new practice of telecommuting has come under fire recently. Major companies like Yahoo and Best Buy are either eliminating, or cutting back on their telecommuting and ROWE (results only work environment) programs.

Is this a sign that telecommuting doesn’t work, or maybe just perhaps that it doesn’t work for these companies at this time? It’s no secret that both of these companies are not exactly at the top of their game, and it seems that both are taking an “all hands on deck” approach. Many employers might be thinking, well, if the CEO of Yahoo can’t make telecommuting work, how can I? First off, you aren’t Yahoo, your company, its management and your workers all have different needs than those of Yahoo or Best Buy.

The technology that we have at our disposal today gives us the ability to conduct much of our traditional office work at home. It would be a shame to let this freedom go to waste, but it seems that for many companies, a failed go at telecommuting has muddied the waters. Telecommuting isn’t just a memo that says you can now write reports and reply to emails from home; a lot goes into a successful telecommuting program, and it’s worth a look to potentially give your employees the extra time, freedom and space that telecommuting lends them.

Who can hack it as a telecommuter?

Not all employees are made for telecommuting. Telecommuting isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. While both parties stand to benefit from workers working remotely, not everyone is cut out for this particular way of contributing to the company. Here are some things to consider when offering telecommuting options.

Does this person:

-maintain a high level of productivity on their own?

-have any concerns about working in isolation for periods of time?

-maintain the ability to come to the office for meetings or other scheduled events?

-need an above average amount of supervision?

-hit goals and deadlines on a regular basis?

-communicate well and often?

-prize organization?

These questions should narrow down the pool of those employees who can hack it from home and those who can’t. A little tip: Make sure you are asking these questions not just about the employee but the employee’s surrounding manager and team; they’ll be affected by the move as well (should you make it). Read more…

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