Consider teleworking

What do you do when a key employee tells you that, due to circumstances beyond their control, he or she is now required to stay at home at least part of the work week? If you don’t want to lose a valuable team member, the 21st century answer to this management challenge is teleworking.

Teleworking - where an employee works full or part-time off-site, perhaps from home - is becoming much more prevalent in the marketplace. In truth, the need to be able to work off-site isn’t new, but only in the past few years have the technological tools been available to make teleworking a viable management option. Here are some thoughts on how to establish and execute a teleworking relationship:

The first step is to determine, with the prospective teleworking employee, how much work can realistically be done off-site. Then determine how the off-site and on-site schedule would be coordinated.  Anticipate the need to make adjustments, so schedule a periodic review with your teleworker, to discuss progress and modifications.

Next step - the tools. Get your teleworker a notebook computer (which will allow work to be taken back and forth) and pay for a broadband Internet connection at their home.

Finally, talk with your other employees about why this step is being taken so they can support the new plan. If handled properly, I predict you’ll get major points for being such a cool, 21st century manager.

If you have trouble imagining having an employee who’s not under your roof, here’s how to get over it: think about how many hours a week your key employees are in your building without you actually seeing them. I’ll bet that number will surprise you.

Recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with TJ DiCaprio, Microsoft’s Senior Director of U.S. Small and Mid-Sized Business Marketing, about the results of a recent study on technology and teleworking. I also recently interviewed long-time Brain Trust Member, Jeff Zbar, on teleworking as part of a business interruption strategy. Take a few minutes to listen to each of these discussions, and, as always, leave your comments or experiences.

Why you should have an employee teleworking strategy with TJ DiCaprio

Making your business ready for an interruption with Jeff Zbar

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