Implementing telecommuting in your company can be a great way to boost employee morale and save your business some money; however, many organizations are hesitant to integrate this new way of working into their business model. After all, professionals such as the likes of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer have made strides to eliminate work-from-home programs entirely in an attempt to foster more collaboration and a sense of togetherness in the office. There are plenty of successful businesses that offer employees telecommute opportunities though, and you can make this strategy work for your company as well if you keep these factors in mind at all times.
Communication is key. Because you won’t be able to pop in at your employees’ desks at any given moment anymore, you’ll want to make sure that the line of communication remains open in other ways. For example, make sure that all of your telecommuting employees have access to a video chat program such as Skype so that they’ll be able to join in meetings. At the very least, they should be able to call into a conference room at any time when needed. Make sure that managers are very clear with their employees on what’s expected of them on a daily basis and that all team members know each other’s phone numbers so that they can all reach one another when necessary.
Hold in-person meetings regularly. One of the best ways to maintain good communication and to continue to foster collaboration outside the office is to bring team members into the office at regular intervals. Whether it’s holding in-person meetings once per month or twice per week, getting together on a regular basis will help remind your employees that their colleagues are real people, not just names on email addresses. If you have employees who live out of state, try to conduct regular video chat meetings more frequently just so that you’re able to see one another’s faces often.
Trust your employees. If you’re a micro-manager, then you probably won’t be on board with telecommuting, at least at first. It’s important to remember to trust your employees while they’re working from home. Don’t assume that a team member is playing computer Solitaire all day long, and don’t call him or her every half hour to check up on what task they’re working on. Ensure that every employee knows what tasks are expected to be completed in a given timeframe. Hard deadlines are crucial when it comes to the success of working from home.
Although implementing a work-from-home program in your business is a big step, it can be a big step in the right direction. Not only will you help boost employee morale, but taking this leap can also help your business save money, since you won’t need to keep as much office space for employees who aren’t actually working in the office. If telecommuting still seems like too big of a change for your company, try starting small. Allow a few employees to work from home just one or two days per week for several months, and see how that goes. If you think that this could be a beneficial option for your organization, remember that you’ll never know if you don’t try it out!