Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How Working from Home Can Indeed Work

A recent survey showed that 26.2 million US workers (or approximately 20 percent of the workforce) does some kind of telecommuting or working remotely from the office. The same survey indicated that while 53 percent of US CFOs plan to increase the number of telecommuters, 76 percent of Asian CFOs are planning the same thing. Working remotely is big and getting bigger.

Even if they value interactions with their co-workers and need structured supervision and feedback to get the job done, employees have always valued the freedom of being away from the boss and the distractions of the workplace. However, without quality interactions, structured supervision and feedback it's too easy for remote working to get off track.

To make working from home actually work, organizations need to ensure a few simple practices are put in place:

  • Regular communication that builds a shared understanding of work expectations along with goodwill, motivation and engagement.
  • A structured process for providing clear and well-documented goals and directions.
  • A process for regular check-ins to ensure the work is on-track.
  • An easily implemented method of taking corrective action when necessary.

Fifty-six percent of decision makers believe that working remotely makes employees more productive. It's relatively easy to check the remote working practices in your organization against the list above to make sure you are getting the most out of your remote workers.

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