Best Practices: Make telecommuting work

Written by ProfitGuide

Can your staff work from home and be truly productive? PROFIT-Xtra readers are split on the issue. More than half — 57% — who replied to last week’s Best Practices Poll say telecommuting just can’t work, while 43% say it can. Readers on both sides of the issue shared their tactics for making telecommuting work well. Here are some of the best responses:

  • “[You must have] phone contact at least once a day and sit down for coffee once a week to go over weekly issues,” advises Jeff. “Ask each other ‘What happened that shouldn’t have happened and what didn’t happen that should have happened’.”
  • “It’s very simple: the work has to get done. Whether the work is done at the workplace or at home is immaterial,” says niceguy100000. “If an employee is happier working from home in that it satisfies their personal situation and our company achieves its goals — sometimes with a better quality result from work at home — then why not encourage work from home?”
  • s_mccormack482 says: “[My] favorite tactics for managing employees who work from their homes are: 1. Make personal contact; 2. Encourage feedback in any form; 3. Provide proper tools and equipment, either on loan or letting employees buy it on charge or make the purchase refundable at end of contract; 4. Make sure employee wants to work at home.”
  • “The key to getting staff to successfully work at home is based on trust and realistic expectations,” says Walker1. “A key factor in the success of staff working from home is being able to contact each other quickly and having fairly prompt response time — a phone call means I need to know now, a text message or e-mail means this is not urgent, but respond as soon as it is convenient. Trust means that you do not micro-manage the employees. As long as the work comes in on time and is done correctly, that is all I care about. When we establish time frames for tasks, the staff and I are realistic about what can be done from home and how long it will take.”

For his answer, Walker1 will receive a copy of The Power of We: Succeeding Through Partnerships by Jonathan M. Tisch (Wiley).

Watch for another Best Practices Poll in the next PROFIT-Xtra.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com