Thinking outside the office.How to use telecommuting to cut costs.                During “The Great Recession,” companies ...
Thinking outside the office.                 A good manager for telecommuters:                   In addition, it is import...
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Article telecommuting

  1. 1. Thinking outside the office.How to use telecommuting to cut costs. During “The Great Recession,” companies In addition to the money saved by not paying looked for new and creative ways to cut costs rent for these workers, being open to recrui- in order to avoid slashing workforce — these ting and hiring remote workers from other included reductions in benefits and compen- geographic areas greatly expands the talent sation packages, forced unpaid vacation time, pool and offers organizations the opportunity job-sharing options and reduced work to find potentially more qualified — and less schedules being assigned. expensive — employees. In addition, measures were taken to reduce real How does it affect productivity? estate and associated facilities management Telecommuting isn’t for everyone — companies costs in the form of consolidation and office and employees alike need to recognize who closings. But, reducing space didn’t necessarily is capable of working independently and who mean reducing workforce. An increasingly will be taking naps on their couch during work attractive option became allowing employees hours. However, for the right employees, tele- to work offsite — otherwise know as telecom- commuting offers flexibility and fewer disruptions muting, e-commuting, working at home (WAH) — two factors that greatly enhance productivity. or becoming Nanobots (Nearly Autonomous, Not in the Office, doing Business in their Own A good telecommuter: Time Staff — a term coined by David Pauleen • Thrives on their driven natures and personal and Brian Harmer of the Wall Street Journal). freedom, and is able to create a work/life These workers stay on the job, but forfeit their balance without strict guidelines office space to permanently or semi-permanently • Is a self-starter and a high achiever that work away from the office. produces strong results with a minimum The cost benefits of telecommuting. amount of supervision Now that high-speed/broadband home Internet • Must be technologically self-sufficient service is widely available, setting up a home • Needs the personal networks, knowledge office is easier and less expensive than ever. and experience to deal with problems that Plus, technologies such as smartphones allow arise on their own employees to stay connected with colleagues and clients from virtually anywhere.
  2. 2. Thinking outside the office. A good manager for telecommuters: In addition, it is important to make sure your • Enters into telecommuting arrangement telecommuters feel like they are still part of without reserve your team. Communicate with them frequently (without being overbearing) — keep them in • Does not resent the loss of direct control the loop on important work issues, but also take • Sets clear expectations with an final due date the time to check in with them on a personal • Has a trusting relationship with e-commuter level. Ask them to be in the office for weekly or quarterly staff meetings to help them stay • Must posses a clear understanding of who connected and offer their input. If face-to-face would and who would not make a good meetings are difficult to arrange, establish candidate for e-commuting a time to speak with them over the phone Managers who are still concerned that time once or twice a week. spent out of the office is unproductive should consider a performance-based pay system. Making telecommuting work. This way telecommuters can be evaluated — In addition to having the right work ethic, and compensated — based on what they do successful telecommuters must have the rather than where they do it which gives them right resources. To help telecommuters be an incentive to be productive. as accessible as office workers, make sure they have the following tools: Telecommuting as a retention tool. • A high-speed/broadband Internet connection Not only can telecommuting save the company • VPN access to your network that works with a considerable amount of money on things like multiple operating systems utilities and maintenance, it can also be used as an incentive or retention tool, especially • A phone system that allows for remote access when bonuses are not available. More and to voice mail voice-mail, call forwarding and more workers are seeking flexible schedules easy teleconferencing to achieve a greater work/life balance, and • An instant-messaging (IM) system that allows offering the option of telecommuting can go your team to stay connected from any location a long way in boosting employee satisfaction. • Easily accessible and manageable However, it is important for managers to enter project-tracking software into a telecommuting arrangement without uncertainty. When employees sense that their Perhaps the most important way to ensure employer is reluctantly allowing them to a successful telecommuting arrangement is to telecommute, it can have an adverse impact clearly define responsibilities and expectations on morale. No employee wants to feel that for telecommuters. When you set goals for their manager is wary of their work ethic or talented people and provide them with all the time-management skills. right resources, they’ll prove they can succeed in any work environment. adeccousa.com ©2011 Adecco

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