Is Telecommuting Right For You?
With today’s internet technologies, more people and companies are taking advantage of telecommuting. There are many advantages and disadvantages of this, but I believe it can be a great asset for small businesses who learn to use this effectively with their employees.
Many people dream of having a job where they can set their own hours and never leave home to make a paycheck. This can be good for some people, however let’s face it, some people lack the discipline to work productively in this type of environment. Think about how you spend your free time when there are projects to be done around the home. Do you attack the project first and play later? Attention to detail and organizational skills will be important so business information is kept together and priorities maintained.
Whether you are the business owner, or the person working from home several guidelines should be set to ensure that the work is getting done in a timely manner. Consider project completion dates and work assignments that can be evaluated for quality and quantity.
Both the employer and the employee must build a sense of trust and security before telecommuting can work. An employer needs to know that the work will be completed and that the employee will not take advantage of the freedom given. The employee needs to know that they are still a productive and needed part of the company. They need to know that they will have the same opportunities for career advancement and job security as the employees who choose to work in the office.
It is also important for the employee to attend regular functions and meetings, so they do not lose sight of the company’s goals and needs. I recommend that weekly meetings be set at the beginning or end of the week. Here, the week’s work can be reviewed and assigned. It is a good forum for open communication and feedback from both sides. Also consider an online service like ICQ (http://www.icq.com) that will help keep the employee in contact with other staff and management.
I would recommend that a company allow an employee to telecommute on a trial basis in the beginning. This allows both the company and the employee the opportunity to go back to the traditional work style if necessary.
Telecommuting can be an asset to both the company and the employee if the process is well planned and monitored.
Other websites with information on telecommuting: