By offering employees the chance to telecommute you can cut down on real estate expenses and improve your chances of retaining top performers. A robust telecommuter program may also be what your creative business needs to improve overall employee morale and productivity.
If you launch a telecommuter program at your creative business, you won’t be alone. One third of chief financial officers reported that the numbers of employees participating in telecommuter programs increased over the last three years according to a 2011 Accountemps’ survey. A key factor in the larger numbers of teleworkers is technology.
Telecommuters Can Access Creative Business Telephone Systems from Anywhere
Not only can employees log onto private company computer systems from home, a hotel or other location that has sufficient bandwidth to access the Internet, employees can also transfer their work telephone numbers to their home address, lending the impression that they are at the office when customers call. These telephone systems use call routing, power packs and external IP extensions to make it possible for employees to connect to work telephone systems from anywhere in the world.
In addition to privately owned companies, government agencies are taking advantage of telework arrangements, and for good reason. Telecommuting helps workers avoid paying high gas prices, improves the environment (less air pollution) and allows workers to use the time they’d normally spend driving to and from work to actually complete projects and assignments.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 encourages government agencies to consider telework arrangements when managing their workforce. Under the Act, heads of executive agencies are to create policies outlining steps employees are to take to apply for telework arrangements. Eligibility requirements are also outlined in the policies. Employees and managers are also to receive telework training. You may be able to leverage guidelines outlined in the Act to start your own telework program.
Increase the Chances that Your Telework Programs are Successful
Additional steps you can take to increase the chances that your telework programs are successful include:
- Make your creative business’ telework program policies available to all employees and managers
- Provide teleworkers with adequate supplies and equipment to successfully perform their jobs
- Keep in regular contact with teleworkers
- Establish clear goals and objectives for the program as well as projects and assignments teleworkers take on
- Schedule regular (e.g. weekly staff meetings) with teleworkers and on-site employees to keep your entire staff connected
- Encourage teleworkers to update you on scheduling changes, challenges with projects, etc.
- Conduct regular performance reviews with teleworkers
- Allow teleworkers to attend internal and external training programs that align with their jobs
Government agencies aren’t the only organizations that can benefit when their creative business leaders offer formal telecommuter programs to their employee base. Private and publicly owned companies of all sizes are discovering that some jobs are suited for telework. In fact, some established companies like Deloitte, Cisco, Brocade Communication Systems and Intel allow large percentages of their employee population to work from home.
Check out Spiral, Portia and Love Pour Over Me at www.chistell.com
http://www.telework.gov/telework_enhancement_act/index.aspx (Telework Enhancement Act of 2010)
http://www.telework.gov/telework_enhancement_act/index.aspx (CNN Money: 100 Best Companies to Work For)