What is Telecommuting? 

Telecommuting, also called teleworking, means working remotely from a location other than your workplace and using the internet to connect with your office and business applications.

A Telecommuting program can be offered as a benefit to employees or it can be used as a business continuity tool when disruptive events prevent employees from accessing the organization’s offices, allowing a company to avoid a total shutdown by having employees work remotely. This is an ideal tool when employees can’t (or shouldn’t) work from the office due to health concerns, weather-related outages, or other emergencies.

Steps to Develop a Telecommuting Program

I. Identify Your Goals and Requirements

  1. Identify your organization’s needs and set telecommuting goals and objectives accordingly. 
  2. Determine how you will evaluate the success of your telecommuting program.
  3. Research and select the technology you will need to use to successfully deploy your telecommuting program.
  4. Assess employee roles within your organization and determine which jobs are well-suited for remote work.
  5. Perform a cost/benefit analysis to understand the advantages and disadvantages of implementing a telecommuting program. You should estimate the direct costs and savings of telecommuting, but also consider intangible benefits like offering a better work-life balance for your employees.

II. Develop Your Plan and Deploy Your Telecommuting Technology

  1. Develop an outline of your telecommuting policies and a telecommuter agreement that sets clear rules regarding employer and employee rights and responsibilities.
  2. Ensure your employees have the necessary technology and equipment to perform their job functions remotely. This may include enabling secure remote access, providing company laptops for remote staff, and purchasing new software licenses.
  3. Determine the security measures you need to implement to keep data secure when employees are working off-site. We recommend contacting your IT advisor to manage these cybersecurity risks.

III. Train, Test and Reassess 

  1. Train your staff on the proper use of your organization’s telecommuting tools.
  2. Educate your staff on your company’s telecommuting policies, procedures, and expectations. Employees should have a clear understanding of performance requirements and understand how productivity will be measured.
  3. Make sure to test your telecommuting plan at least twice per year to ensure both your systems and staff are prepared to work remotely. If your telecommuting plan will be used only for emergency situations as part of your business continuity plan, testing is especially important.
  4. Keep communication channels open and be prepared to adapt and improve your telecommuting program based on employee feedback.

If you’re interested in reviewing affordable telecommuting options, need help implementing a new remote work program, or just want to make sure your existing telework policy is safeguarding your business data, give the Digital Industry team a call or send us a message, we’re here to help.