Telework is most effective if it is part of a broader, coordinated work flexibility strategy, and not a stand-alone program owned exclusively by the technology group.
Working remotely with colleagues and customers is one of the fastest growing and most powerful types of flexible work; however, it entails much more than handing an employee a smartphone, a laptop and video conferencing.
Telework involves a fundamental change in the way a person does his or her job, a team communicates and a manager manages. Success requires:
- Positioning telework, along with flexible hours, compressed workweek and reduced schedules, as one part of a powerful work flexibility toolkit.
- Understanding that telework can range from working from home every now and then, to working remotely always.
- Establishing a clear, targeted "why," or business case for telework. Not just letting it "happen."
- Auditing existing technology to ensure it matches the telework goals of the business.
- Addressing security concerns, such as "bring your own device" whether telework is periodic or permanent.
- Clarifying policies, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, and consistent reimbursement expectations.
- Providing managers with the commuication, coordination and workflow management tools and skills they need.
- Preparing employees to capture the flexibility of telework and use it to manage their work+life fit.
Related Articles from FSG/WLF:
- 12 Remote Work Trends to Achieve (Not Just Predict)
- Will Working Remotely Work? 7 "What If" Scenarios to Consider First
- 8 Steps to Make Telework and Flexible Hours Part of Your Disaster-Response Plan
- Remote Worker Disaster Response Checklist