Telework is a work arrangement where an employee works from an alternate work site, or from home. Teleworking, or telecommuting, has numerous benefits for the employee, the employer and the community.
- Improved work environment
- Improved morale
- Greater job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
- Greater responsibility and feeling of trust
- More work/life balance
- Less commuting time, stress and costs
- Greater employee productivity and work quality
- Increased ability to attract and keep valued employees
- Improved employee morale and job satisfaction
- Increased access to new labor markets (disabled, part-time, semi-retired)
- Less sick leave and reduced absenteeism
- Reduced office space and parking needs
- Increased ability to meet air quality and transportation mandates
- Check the numbers by doing a cost-benefit analysis (provided by JALA International)
Types of Teleworking: Flexible Work Hours, Compressed Work Week or Flextime and Compressed Work Week
Flexible work hours can shift some travel to less congested, non-peak commute times. This means that employees are allowed some flexibility in their daily work schedules. For example, rather than all employees working 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., some work 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and others 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Compressed work week (CWW) means that employees work fewer but longer days such as four 10-hour days (4/40), or nine hour days with one day off every two weeks (9/80).
Flextime and Compressed work week are usually implemented as an employee and manager option (both employees and managers must agree). They may vary from day to day or week to week, and are typically implemented as part of a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program.
Tips for Employers
Step 1: Decide if telework is appropriate.
Telework is not right for every organization. Some jobs require employees to be physically onsite to perform job duties, but some jobs may be flexible in where the work is performed. It's up to the organization to decide what's best in order to meet the bottom line. Do a cost-benefit analysis (provided by JALA International).
Step 2: Enroll in eWorkPlace
eWorkPlace offers free resources to help employers develop and implement a successful program, based on allowing a number of eligible workers to telework just one day a week.
eWorkPlace also provides free consulting, training and evaluation to make the employer's program a success.
Step 3: Set clear guidelines and policies.
Studies show that clear guidance and direction increase the chances of success for any program. Managers and supervisors are key players in the telework process and should set the parameters and define telework policies for their organizations before implementation.
Step 4: Determine the technological needs.
Determine the level of technological support needed to allow employees to work from home (i.e. computers, printers, telephones, etc.)
Step 5. Stay informed.
Stay informed of your teleworker's workload and status of projects by establishing a strong communication process.
Step 6. Manage your teleworkers.
Manage teleworkers the same way you manage other employees. Telecommuters are not performing different work, they are doing the same work just in a different location.
Step 7. Judge performance by results.
Managers should judge an employee's performance by results, not observation. Measure the employee's performance by looking at the quality and timeliness of the end product.
Step 8. Evaluate results.
When evaluating the effectiveness of teleworking within your organization, consider whether it positively impacts these key issues: productivity, operating costs, employee morale, recruitment and retention. Also, consider how it benefits overall community concerns such as traffic flow, air pollution, and mass transit use.
Telework is a work arrangement where an employee works at an alternate work site or at home. There are numerous benefits to telecommuting for employees, employers and the community.
- Benefits - What's in it for you and your organization?
- What's in it for your employees?
- Tips for starting a telework program
- Flexible Work Arrangements