How a strong telecommuting policy can benefit any organization

If your employees are asking about telecommuting to work, you may find that a telecommuting policy helps make things clear to them. Here’s what you need to know.

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As workers look for better work-life balance and employers need to find talent to fill vital roles, telecommuting can accomplish both goals. More people are looking for the option of remote work when looking for a new job. Companies need developers, security experts, and devops professionals to lead digital transformation work and secure the enterprise. 

SEE: TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Several studies show that the trend toward telecommuting is not going away. In the 2019 State of Remote Work report, Owl Labs found that 24% of survey respondents would take a 10% pay cut to be able to telecommute. 

Owl Labs also found that workers who work remotely some of the time are happier, feel more trusted, less stressed about work-life balance, and are less likely to leave their jobs than colleagues who don’t have the option to telework.

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The SHRM 2019 Employee Benefits Survey found that employers are responding to this desire among employees to telecommute, with 69% offering the option to at least some employees on an as-needed basis while 42% offer it part time and 27% offer it full time.

An analysis by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that from 2016 to 2017 the number of telecommuters in the US grew 7.9%. Over the last five years, it grew 44%.

Even if telework is not the norm for your company, it can be an important tool to use during a regional or national crisis. As the coronavirus cases increase in America, large corporations are asking full-time employees to telecommute and individuals are being asked to self-quarantine to monitor their own health.  

This makes it more important than ever to have a clear policy about working remotely.  

The TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy is a ready-to-distribute policy that can cover the basics and more. The telecommuting agreement offers guidance about regular telecommuting and ad hoc arrangements. Performance evaluations are also covered.

Setting expectations for telecommuting

Amanda Tran, human resources manager at cloud consulting firm Maven Wave, said productivity is still being measured whether a person is in the office or telecommuting. 
 
“Collaboration, discipline, and focus are key in being able to work autonomously without distraction,” she said.

Zoë Harte, senior vice president and head of human resources and talent innovation at Upwork, a company that provides in-demand remote talent, said that companies can best navigate telecommuting jobs by setting clear expectations, roles, and responsibilities and using collaborative platforms like video conferencing.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

“Leaders need to participate to model and encourage engagement, by turning on video for team meetings and erring on the side of overcommunication,” she said.

Dr. Gabriella Kellerman, CIO of BetterUp, said the company has studied almost 50,000 workers to understand the challenges of telecommuting. She said that managers should help employees draw the right work-life balance.

“You will also want to pay particular attention to your team’s stress levels, and their ability to balance work and life – both of these are pain points for remote workers compared to those onsite,” she said.

In addition to guidance about home office space, the TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy includes essential information about:

  • Equipment – Establishing who will provide these items
  • Services – Identifying connectivity needs
  • Office supplies – Explaining the reimbursement process
  • Workspace – Setting guidelines for  a remote office
  • Worker’s compensation – Reviewing insurance policies
  • Liability – Understanding liabilities

SEE: TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Telecommuting as a hiring strategy

Telecommuting is becoming more of a business strategy than a perk for tech companies looking to find the right people for roles ranging from developers to security professionals.

Eugenio Pace, CEO and co-founder of Auth0, said that more than half of the company’s global workforce works remotely and services customers worldwide. He and Auth0 CTO Matias Woloski,  started the company while living 7,000 miles apart in Seattle and Buenos Aires.

“By continuing to invest in our remote culture, we see greater productivity, employee freedom and happiness, and have access to a wider pool of talent without having to compete with other companies within a certain region,” he said.

The TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy is a template that allows you to create a customized telecommuting policy that addresses the needs of your business.
 
Global Workplace Analytic’s observation of clients and case studies found that telecommuting two or three days a week seems to create the right balance between working at home and working at the office.  

Global Workplace also estimates that employees see one big telecommuting benefit: saving between $2,500 and $4,000 each year by working at home half the time. Those savings come from spending less on commuting time, parking, and food.

These industries have the highest percentages of people who telecommute: Healthcare  at 15%, Technology at 10%, and Financial Services at 9%, relative to their share of the total workforce.

Download the TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy for a template you can easily revise for your own company’s needs.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium Telecommuting Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

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