Working-from-Home Tips for Telecommuting Employees
Thanks to todays technology, employees can telecommute without having to worry about work getting done or not staying connected with others in the office. Employees can access network drives and dial into meetings as if they are physically in the cube next door. But for telecommuting to fully work for your company, you need workers to be responsible and responsive. Create guidelines that include working-from-home tips to make telecommuting a viable option in your workplace.
Evaluate the Benefits
Telecommuting offers a number of benefits for small business owners. For example, it may not be cost-effective to maintain an office when you add up the costs of leasing space, purchasing furniture and equipment, paying for utilities, etc. It may make more sense financially to consider a virtual work environment, where employees can complete much of their work from their homes. If an entirely virtual office is not for you, you can offer telecommuting as a benefit for employees. Many will enjoy the flexibility of a full- or part-time work-from-home schedule.
Telecommute Tip: Maintain a Productive Work Environment
Employees who want to telecommute must have an established work environment with proper office furniture, so that they can stay productive and free of distractions. As an employer or manager, you should encourage your telecommuting employees to set up a separate area specifically for work within their home.
Fortunately, technology has advanced to a point where your telecommuting employees can use all the same software as employees who work at the office. Through the use of cloud-hosted software and VPNs, it's possible to create a simulated environment at your employees' homes to keep them productive throughout the day. Keep in mind that as a business owner, you'll have an initial investment to set up the VPNs or switch to cloud-hosted software.
Keep in Touch with Co-Workers
One of the major problems with telecommuting is that employees don't have as much communication with their colleagues, which can affect their work. Constant communication is essential. Not only will managers be aware of how employees are doing, but telecommuting employees will also feel essential to the company. Telecommuting employees need to clearly communicate where they are as well as when and how co-workers can reach them. Considering a regular schedule for being in the office is another telecommuting best practice, even if its just once a month.
Regardless of where your employees are located, you can be creative about how they keep in touch with you. For example, use Skype or other video conferencing applications to communicate with employees and hold meetings.
Whether you own a business or manage a team of employees for your company, allowing employees to work from home can be beneficial. There are many working-from-home tips that will make telecommuting a success for both employees and the company.