10 Tips for Setting Up Successful Teleworking Policies

1 - 10 Tips for Setting Up Successful Teleworking Policies
2 - Establish Teleworking Policies Up-Front
3 - Communicate Policies to Employees and Gain Supervisor Buy-In
4 - Scrutinize the Roles in Your Business
5 - Engage Your IT department
6 - Establish Clear Performance Indicators
7 - Start With a Small Team and Scale Based on Achieved Results
8 - Remember to Include Teleworkers
9 - Incorporate Feedback Mechanisms
10 - Provide Training Specific to Teleworking
11 - Review Your Teleworking Policy and Make Changes as Needed
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10 Tips for Setting Up Successful Teleworking Policies

Ahead of the pope's scheduled visit to the United States—and the expected traffic congestion—we look into the best ways for companies to set up teleworking policies.

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Establish Teleworking Policies Up-Front

Think about the parameters for teleworking. The policy should set the right tone in outlining the privileges it provides to employees to perform their duties outside the traditional office walls, including information on eligibility, scheduling and compensation. You also may want to address related topics, such as overtime, attendance at meetings, travel expenses and workers' compensation.

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Communicate Policies to Employees and Gain Supervisor Buy-In

Once the policy has been finalized, share it with your team and make sure that all employees understand the details and sign off on the policy. Make sure that the policy is somewhere easily accessible, such as on the company intranet, and that managers and HR can answer any additional questions.

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Scrutinize the Roles in Your Business

Not all job functions are optimal for telework. Certainly, the office receptionist cannot work remotely, and people that need to have regular contact with other employees, such as HR, also will fall into that category. Conduct an analysis to understand what jobs can benefit from more flexible working arrangements and match this against your teleworking policy.

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Engage Your IT Department

Teleworking should support more efficiency and productivity, but that won't happen if the technology isn't up and running. Make sure the IT team is engaged to set up remote access for employees, including secure VPNs and other applications to get the job done.

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Establish Clear Performance Indicators

It's not about where you work but about getting the work done. While in-person interactions are still critical to doing business—and there may be lingering questions on how productive a teammate is who is often out of the office—placing importance on results will help alleviate concerns. Time and attendance solutions simplify how time is captured across the workforce, while project costing solutions deliver insights into how time is spent across projects, which can be compared against deadlines and deliverables.

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Start With a Small Team and Scale Based on Achieved Results

If you have a relatively new team or business, keeping operations tight as you scale up may mean that teleworking is minimized at the onset. Figure out the best way to roll out remote working across teams and how this can be expanded as your business develops.

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Remember to Include Teleworkers

According to Ipsos Research, 62 percent of global teleworkers feel socially isolated when they don't see their colleagues face-to-face every day. Whether you're more or less remote than your colleagues, make sure that there are regular touch points to communicate with teams beyond email, such as weekly phone calls and virtual meetings.

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Incorporate Feedback Mechanisms

The federal patent examiner at the PTO was identified as a poor performer, but was able to fly under the radar for months until an anonymous letter appeared from a disgruntled co-worker. In addition to ensuring employees have clear performance metrics, provide open opportunities for teammates to give each other 360-degree feedback and support.

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Provide Training Specific to Teleworking

While remote working is widely adopted in some businesses, employees who are "out of sight" can give others the impression that they are less productive and focused, compared with office-bound employees. Make sure that everyone is trained to understand the essentials of teleworking, what makes a successful teleworker, team success factors and how to maximize technologies.

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Review Your Teleworking Policy and Make Changes as Needed

Program evaluation tools should be adopted from the outset to support and evaluate teleworking in any business. 'Time asset management solutions enable businesses to access time, resource and project-related data and view these in configurable reports that can be compared over many years. This can help adjust teleworking policies as these evolve.