When It Works Telecommuting works best for positions that aren’t customer facing, and employees who don’t need to meet in person daily. Of course, with technology being what it is, even meetings don’t really need to be face to face. Tools like Skype and Oovoo let you hold videoconferences that are close enough to the real thing to encourage productivity. Because you likely have a mix of employees who need to interact with customers, meet with teams or just stay squirreled away in the basement, try offering at least some flex options to everyone. For example, you could say sales reps can be out in the field three days a week and catch up on paperwork from home the other two. Teams may be required to meet in person, either at the office or a coffee shop or quiet location, once a week. There are ways to provide the perk of telecommuting to everyone at some level. What They’ll Need While you don’t have to supply a cubicle and good coffee anymore, you as the employer are still responsible for a few items telecommuters need: • Laptop • Internet service • Telephone service • Printer • Office supplies Without the proper equipment for their home offices, your employees can’t be efficient. It’s best to get a system in place for when a new hire comes in so you can outfit their home offices properly. Are You Ready? Even if you love coming to the office every day, consider giving your employees options. If you’re not 100 percent on board with the telecommute thing, start with a handful of employees working from home one day a week. Measure productivity after three months, then if you’re impressed, roll out a larger telecommuting plan. You’ll be glad you did.
© Copyright 2003 - 2011, Small Business Trends LLC. All rights reserved. Susan Payton. “Should Your Company Allow Telecommuting.” Small Business Trends. June 9, 2011. http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/06/should-your-company-allow-telecommuting.html
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Benefits of working from home.