Telecommuting is fast becoming a standard way of working. More and more people are working from home efficiently and productively. The increased ease of communication means that anyone with an internet connection can do it. It allows employees to have space to work through large projects uninterrupted. It also shows a level of trust in employees which they will respect. Of course, it has its downsides, but we’ll discuss how to make them work.
The benefits far outweigh the negatives when it comes to telecommuting. The first major benefit is the cost saving. As an employer, you’ll cut down on lighting, electricity and heating bills. Allowing your employees to work at home for two-three days a week cuts down your overheads. Secondly, it allows you to increase your talent pool. You’re no longer restricted to those in the local area. Instead you can take advantage of talented individuals all across the country, even the world.
Some people need space to work. Everyone works in different ways. Many people crave interaction. They thrive on group work and collaboration. They love to bounce ideas and brainstorm. Of course, you should cater for these workers with a strong office environment. However, others need a quiet place to explore their ideas and gather their thoughts. They need a peaceful place to tackle a really big project or get their thoughts on paper. Telecommuting gives people that space they need.
Just be sure to get the balance right. Even the quietest workers will crave interaction every now and then. Where possible, try to work on a flexible basis. Allow employees to work from home two or three days a week. But, call them in for the rest of the time. If you’re a new business, hire office space from beoffices. It is vital that employees still have this physical connection. Chance collisions and collaborations are still one of the strongest form of idea creation. Not only that but it is essential that all employees get together regularly to meet and discuss the business.
Communication is paramount when it comes to telecommuting. Working from home doesn’t mean cutting all ties with the company. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure there are simple methods of communication. Use instant messaging to ensure that workers are online and request email updates on progress. You will always have emails and Skype calls on hand should you need them.
Set objectives while workers are off site. Alongside communication, you must also set goals and objectives for your off site employees. Once at home there are plenty of distractions. Keep them on track by setting realistic goals and expecting reports and updates.
Having said this, remember to trust your workers. Don’t pester them every ten minutes or demand hourly reports. Give them the space to get their head down and work. Monitor their progress over a long period rather than regular checks. Trust that they’ll do the work and give them space.
Telecommuting isn’t right for every business, but chances are, it might work for you. Give it some thought and try out a few test runs. Follow these simple rules to making telecommuting work.
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