Telecommuting practices shot through the news this week as a memo was leaked regarding Yahoo’s CEO Marisa Meyers. She chose to make a difficult decision minimizing the existing telecommuting practice. Some argue this is an affront to working mothers. While others argue that telecommuting simply doesn’t work without face-to-face communication and engagement.
Regardless of public debate on this topic, one question remains unanswered: Is the issue about the perk or about performance? We have always known that telecommuting does not necessarily improve productivity. There are as many distractions at home as there are in the workplace, if not more.
Much of the success regarding these programs center around the following three keys:
1. Are the right employees selected for telecommuting?
An ideal telecommuting candidate is a self-starter. Those who have a sense of self-discipline and can establish a routine under their own motivation are great candidates for a telecommuting program.
2. Are the right jobs selected for telecommuting?
The costs of telecommuting far outweigh the benefit for some jobs. For example many direct revenue-producing positions require face-to-face connection with customers.
3. Are expectations and incentives been fully documented and understood?
Throwing people into the mix without fully understanding and communicating expectations is simply doomed for failure for all involved. This is true regardless of the situation or program. Clearly defined expectations combined with clearly defined pay-for-performance programs can be leveraged for successful telecommuting program.
Like any program or practice if left unchecked can run amok with company resources, time, money and productivity. But establishing a strong business case, communication and total rewards strategies can help achieve results.
1) Cost/Benefit Analysis 2) Scenario Planning Analysis
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