Hamilton Tips for effective telecommuting
Telecommuting has grown in popularity with both employers and employees over the past few years. The prime reason has been the time and cost of commuting to a downtown office (with distances becoming greater and parking becoming scarcer), as well as the rising cost of downtown office space and infrastructure. Telecommuting became possible because of more effective home computing & communications technologies, enabling workers to be connected to coworkers, clients and the office computer network.
One study shows an average annual office costs saving in $4,500 by having workers telecommute. Because coworkers, and their distractions, are not close by productivity usually rises. Because people are working out of their homes, it becomes possible for mothers of young children to better balance their families and careers, improving job satisfaction.
Here are some tips for making telecommuting more effective in your company:
- Select qualified telecommuting prospects. Both the employees and their jobs should be suitable for working remotely
- Train them on working remotely. Training on effective telecommuting should be provided to both the telecommuter and their managers.
- Telecommuters need to be given effective technology. Provide good computers and supply effective modem connections. Workers need to be both self-sufficient at home, and well-connected to the rest of the company. Workers should not be given surplus slow computers with small monitors, when high resolution flat screen monitors can allow them to have several windows open (like a word processing document, a presentation, and a teleconference video window) at once. Nor should they forced to use a slow dial-up modem from home, when high-speed broadband or cable modems cost only $40 per month (and can double productivity while working online). You may want to consider video-conferencing technologies as well.
- Provide responsive technical support. When users have software or hardware problems, they are cut off from the rest of the company
- Get high level executive support. Mid-level managers are more supportive if executives are visibly supporting telecommuting initiatives (even working the occasional day from home).