Telecommuting

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Telecommuting

What is a telecommuting?

Telecommuting is the ability for employees to work from a location other than the office. Telecommuting is often marked by a large reliance on technology for communication and collaboration purposes, as employee teams are scattered in different locations. 

Telecommuting benefits

The major benefits of allowing employees to work remotely include:

  • Reduced overhead costs
  • Higher rates of employee retention
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Access to a larger talent pool
  • Higher employee morale

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits when it comes to leveraging a remote workforce. But how do you go about implementing one?

Best practices for implementing telecommuting

  1. Establish telecommuting policies 

How can you expect anyone to know what your standards are if you don’t fully communicate them? This concept applies to all employee-manager relationships, not just remote ones. However, because workers who are telecommuting do not have the same physical proximity as office workers, explicit expectations are especially important. Be sure to establish predefined expectations for procedures, goals, communication and performance with your remote employees. These expectations should be delivered verbally and documented in writing for future reference.

  1. Provide telecommuting tools

The technology you need to help make your remote worker’s daily lives easier and more productive fall into these categories:

  • Video conference/meetings
  • Virtual collaboration
  • Communication
  • Project Management
  1. Communicate clearly and frequently

The key to good management is proper communication. Make a point to consistently communicate with your employees so that they know that you plan to be “present” regardless of physical location. Schedule a weekly conversation with each of your employees to go over questions, ideas and concerns. By having this consistent communication, the employee will feel less alienated from the company and more committed to the success of the organization as a whole. In these conversations you should make a point to provide positive and constructive feedback to each employee.

Also encourage your remote employees to communicate their questions according to priority. First communicate the difference between high and low priority levels. Once you’ve established that foundation, articulate how and when employees should contact you according to priority. If something is low priority, ask your employees to wait for your weekly meeting. If something is high priority, encourage employees to contact you following a specific procedure.

  1. Encourage collaboration

Ironically, collaboration in the workplace has increased even with the growing acceptance of telecommuting. Much of this collaboration can be attributed to the exponential growth of the HR tech industry. This means that you also need to consider which tools will help your team maximize collaborative efforts. Look for technology that enhances communication and facilitates brainstorming and teamwork.

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