What It Is
Telecommuting is working from a remote location (often one’s home workstation) using computers, the internet, phone, fax, and other remote capabilities. Telecommuters may work from home for one or two days per week, or full-time.
Benefits include reduced travel time, conserving energy, contributing to employee satisfaction and supporting family life. The option to telecommute can be a strong selling point in employee recruitment. Many organizations report a higher productivity for telecommuters.
Clearly, telecommuting may not work for businesses that require tasks to be completed on site such as landscaping or restaurant operation. Setting up a home office is also limited by space, electronics, and connectivity to office network resources requirements for performing work.
- Occasionally allow employees to work from home
- Allow telecommuting as a regular part of employees’ schedules
- Allow some employees to work most or all of their time at home or a remote location. This may require setting up a virtual private network (VPN) to access the office database. See Resources for more information.
- Telecommuting training and resources. Link here to a helpful site was prepared for federal agencies and managers, but has training relevant for small business managers too.
- Link here to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about the benefits to the environment of telecommuting.
Link here for one company’s interesting experience with telecommuting, including guidelines to make it work. Employees should be trained in how to set up an ergonomic home office, and telecommuting should be optional, for instance.