Best Practices for Telecommuting Policies
A telework, or telecommuting, policy gives selected employees the option of working off-site on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis. Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) can help companies implement a formal telecommuting program, and train managers on best practices for supervising teleworkers to ensure productivity and business continuity.
ATP works with Telework!VA, an online resource, to help businesses start or expand a formalized telecommuting policy. By encouraging employees to perform some or all of their duties without commuting to the office, companies can reduce costs creating a flexible work environment, and realize many other benefits.
Why Telecommuting Works For Businesses
In 2018, 70% of organizations offered telecommuting (full-time, part-time, or ad-hoc) as an option for their employees. Telework is quickly becoming an indispensable benefits program for employers seeking to attract, hire, and retain employees in today’s competitive workforce.
The number of teleworkers in the DC Metro region has increased from 27% to 32% in as little as three years, with 88,700 commuters teleworking at least occasionally.
Increased demand for flexible roles
- 51% of employees would accept a new a position that offers flextime
- 37% of employees would accept a new position that allows off-site work at least part of the time
Reference: State of the American Workforce Report (Gallup, 2017)
Positions suitable for Telecommuting
In addition to understanding the federal employment regulations involved with implementing a telecommuting policy, managers need to learn which positions and employee characteristics best suited for telework. Typically, the roles that transition easily to telecommuting are:
- Positions that rely on electronic transmission of information with minimal confidentiality requirements
- Positions that require minimal supervision or in-person contact with clients
These employees are more likely to be engaged when teleworking since they are expected to provide the same productive output on site and from their home office. In fact, 57% of employees believe they are more productive while working from home, while 38% say they’re just as productive.
Reference: Striking a Balance on Remote Work (SHRM, 2018)
Characteristics of Successful Teleworkers
Employees who work in an eligible position and demonstrate these qualities typically make the best teleworkers:
- Strong organizational and time management skills
- Solid written and verbal communication skills
- Self-starter with a good degree of self-discipline
- Able to work with limited supervision
- Able to establish work-life boundaries
- Home environment or remote workspace that is supportive and free from distractions
- Successful completion of any telework training period
- Strong performance record and knowledge of their position
- Able to use telework equipment effectively for communication and job duties (phones, email, instant messaging, videoconferencing)
- Resourceful when facing technology issues