(NEWS)– Companies trying to develop a loyal, high-performing workforce with low turnover may want to offer work-from-home options. David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner at 37signals and author of “Remote Office Not Required,” says remote work offers a boost in quality of life for both employers and employees.
He says it provides employees the freedom to live anywhere and the ability to avoid time-wasting commutes. The benefits to employers include saving money on office space and relocations, access to the best talent across the country and the world and a more productive workforce. Work-from-home policies are enabled by the latest cloud storage technology, which provides safe file sharing and backup between employees in any location using any device.
Employers can offer different work-from-home options such as scheduled work-at-home days during the week with weekly in-office time or a fully remote workforce spread across the world.
FlexJobs CEO and founder Sara Sutton Fell advises that companies should focus on planning, communication and training if they want to implement remote work and not lose productivity. She says a solid plan for flexible work strategy spells out who is eligible, what kind of flex work arrangements are offered and what metrics will track productivity. Sutton Fell cautions that a communication plan is key to successful remote work options, and managers need to be trained on how to best manage a remote workforce.
Employers like Marquet Media president Kristin Marquet feel remote workers must be accountable for their productivity. She requires detailed weekly updates. Others, like AlphaCard communications manager Ellen Arndt, use cloud-based project management services to track remote employee productivity.
Telecommuting Best Practices
Using best practices when planning and implementing telecommuting options helps managers and companies better manage remote workers, and protects against loss of productivity.
Some of the best practices discussed by a CIO Insight article are that the managers need to decide which jobs are appropriate for remote work, not the employees, and that telecommuting must be seen as a privilege and not a right. The article suggests that this privilege be given to employees who perform well, meet standards and are accountable.
Other telecommuting best practices involve hours worked, attendance and company data. Telecommuting doesn’t change the number of hours worked. If an in-office job is full-time requiring 40 hours, the telecommuting option for that job requires 40 hours as well. Attendance is still required at mandatory meetings, and all corporate data and proprietary information used by remote workers remains the property of the company.
Companies That Offer Remote Work
If your company is considering work-from-home options for employees, you’ll be joining 100 top companies like Xerox, Dell, Humana, ADP, Apple, Kenexa and Microsoft. FlexJobs reports that the top industries offering flexible work arrangements are healthcare, information technology, sales and marketing and non-profit.
Flexible jobs offered at Xerox include customer service, project manager and transaction processor. Dell offers telecommuting options for jobs like data backup services advisor and administrative associate.