More and more women are choosing to telecommute, and more companies are coming up with family-friendly, flexible work-from-home and telecommuting options. Some estimates show that almost 40% of the working population are able to work from home at least part of the time, without a loss in productivity.
If you’re looking into developing a telecommuting plan for yourself or for your office, here are the items to consider:
1) Telecommuters need adequate ways to check in with other office mates, such as through Skype, IRC, or scheduled conference calls.
2) Telecommuters need comfortable and adequate supplies such as office equipment, computer supplies, or manufacturing supplies necessary for accomplishing their work.
3) The company is liable for computers or other hardware: sensitive information should not be stored on computers that are going home with employees.
4) Performance should be a main indicator of success (not time on the job). The number of hours logged does not often correlate with the quality of work: for evaluation purposes, always consider performance to be an indicator of a telecommuter’s success.
5) Adequate supervision: if a telecommuter or work-from-home coworkers needs assistance or guidelines, make a plan for them to get the support they need. A worker will always need a fairly clear list of tasks and an attainable timeline to achieve deliverables, goals, and specific benchmarks.
If you’re considering telecommuting for yourself, or you’re setting up a home office, consider searching for computer desks for home and finding items that are ranked high and rated well for durability, construction, quality of materials, and comfort.
Your work-from-home workforce will be happier, have a reduced carbon footprint, and will be as productive (or even more so) than when they’re in the office.
I encourage you to support the work-from-home and telecommuting movement by educating yourself and doing additional research on what your specific business will need to implement a telecommuting policy.
Sandy Atwood says
Thanks for the info Monica. I have been telecommuting for 2 years now and I get to spend quality time with my family.
Kate Lister says
Less than 2% of U.S. employees work from home the majority of the time (not including the self-employed), but 40% hold jobs that are compatible with telework. If those employees who wanted to (about 80%) did so just half of the time (roughly the national average for those who do), the national savings would total almost $650 billion.
The Nation would:
– Save 289 million barrels of oil—equivalent to 37% of our Persian Gulf imports
– Reduce greenhouse gases by 53 million tons/year—27% of the President’s 2020 goal
– Reduce road travel by 115 billion miles/year saving $2 billion in road maintenance
– Reduce road congestion thereby increasing productivity for non-telecommuters as well
– Save 100,000 people from traffic-related injury or death
– Improve emergency responsiveness
– Increase productivity by over $235 billion
– Save $124 billion in real estate, electricity, and related costs
– Save $46 billion in absenteeism
– Save $31 billion in employee turnover
– Achieve a better work-life balance
– Recoup 2-3 weeks of free time per year—time they’d have otherwise spent commuting
– Save $2,000-$7,000/year
– Save $15 billion at the pumps
These arent’ just pie-in-the sky numbers. At the TeleworkResearchNetwork we’ve synthesized over 250 studies on telecommuting and related topics. Our research has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and dozens of other publications.
Using the latest Census data, and assumptions from dozens of government and private sector sources, we’ve developed a model to quantify the economic, environmental, and societal potential of telecommuting for every, city, county, Congressional District, and state in the U.S. and for the U.K. and Canada. It’s available free on the web at http://teleworkresearchnetwork.com along with a model that allows companies and communities to quantify their own potential telecommuting savings.
It’s time we made the road less traveled the way to work.™
Kate Lister, Principal Researcher