Did you know that 74% companies now allow their employees to telecommute?
The freedom to work-from-home is an every growing trend that will only enhance in near future. From offering full-time employees telecommute on some days to hiring work-from-home employees, everything is increasingly becoming a part of the corporate workplace. In fact, many potential employees think that telecommute as an important element for joining an organization.
Apart from this, small organizations can specifically reap benefits of telecommuting as they can hire talented professionals at lower costs. This is because hiring a full-time employee obviously incurs the additional cost of maintenance including employee benefits. Then, with increasing business and more number of employees, extra office space is required, which will increase costs.
If we talk about employees, then everyone needs work-from-home benefits to resume work while traveling or other such circumstances. This saves them from losing their work progress as well as save them from salary cut.
While the benefits of telecommuting are evident for both employer and employees, HRs need to specify particular rules to make telecommuting work. This is required to formulate a system that offers equal advantages to employers as well as employees without sacrificing workflow.
Here are some tips to make telecommuting work:
1. Define Rules
Have pre-defined rules for every employee and also for employees who will only coordinate via telecommuting. These rules should not be altered from employee to employee and everything should be pre-set. This includes working condition, qualifying criteria, procedures, hardware and software requirements, timings, compliance regulations, and other such requirements.
2. Identify Suitable Circumstances
This contains defining under what conditions an existing employee can take work-from-home. It should not be decided randomly by the HR teams, but there should be clear guidelines for the available work-from-home opportunity. Additionally, for employees only working via telecommuting, they should be aware of the suitable conditions for working remotely such as availability, job duties, etc.
3. Prepare an Acknowledgement Policy
The acknowledgement policy should contain all the above necessary conditions and rules along with other details. These details may include preparation of reports, constant availability during office time, coordinating rules, etc.
4. Plan Communication Flow
Although telecommute doesn’t allow enhanced face-to-face communication, it is still necessary to communicate to encourage effective working. So, develop a flow where on-site and off-site employees can freely communicate without hindrance. This includes regular work updates, video calls for discussion, and constant review cycle.
5. Educate Supervisors about How-Tos
While people who often telecommute or work-from-home only adjust to the how-tos of this work setting, supervisors need guidance. Hence, guide and assist them to coordinate with telecommute employees for effective workflow. This should contain work schedules, salary payments, record keeping, etc.
6. Consider Compliance
Maintaining compliance with state laws is essential, which makes it necessary for HRs to guide telecommute employees for the same. These employees should be aware of state and central laws and know the cost of not maintaining compliance.
7. Utilize Technology
The main reason behind the feasibility of telecommuting is technology and you should leverage it to the fullest. Form protocols for telecommuting employees to follow certain technology guidelines and fulfill some pre-requirements of technology. You can also use technology to enhance communication and integrate whole team – on-site and work-from-home.
8. Consider Other Flexible Workplace Settings
If telecommuting seems like an option full of hassles, then try other flexible workplace settings such as:
- 4-day work with 10 to 11 hours of work timings.
- Specify the number of hours to be spent per week, which will give employees the flexibility to adjust to their schedule and attend office early or late accordingly.
- Divide workplace timings into shifts: morning and evening.
There are various other possible options like these which can provide the convenient working schedule to employees.
Make Telecommute Work: Encourage Collaboration
The basis of telecommuting is being able to collaborate and the responsibility of making that happen falls on HR managers. HRs need to ensure that if they offer to telecommute option to employees, the team should be able to collaborate and in the end, workflow should not break. If the workflow shakes, then all this preparation will be for nothing. Hence, getting employees on board with this is a major task which can promote collaboration.