Monday, August 18, 2008

Make Your Telecommuting Plan

If you're an employer who is interested in starting a telecommuting program, it can be hard to know where to start. You don't want to just close up shop, send folks home and hope for the best. That could result in confusion and despair at best, and going out of business at worst. But having said that, you can get started with flexible work arrangements without too much hassle.

This article from (an outfit that seems like a public-private partnership to share info about ecologically friendly business practices) has a great set of steps for getting going on getting your employees out of the office. In case you feel like you can take the time to read it, here are the steps they recommend (and I quote):

1. Identify job types best suited to telecommuting.
2. Select the best candidates for a telecommuting program.
3. Look into state and federal incentives.
4. Establish a trial period.
5. Adapt management techniques.
6. Track the results of the program.
7. Set goals for expanding the program.

Seven steps to enlightenment! What could be easier? Those state and federal incentives are a good point: You may be able to offset some of your initial investment in technology and tools to support telecommuting by using tax rebates available through Small Business Administration and Environmental Protection Agency programs that exist.

Reading this article also makes me realize that I need to help my manager and the whole organization do a better job quantifying the telecommuting that is going on there. There are now a total of three remote workers, and I'd like to organize us a bit so that we can prove that we're not only working, we're thriving.

Assuming, of course, we are thriving. But that's why we have to do a little measuring.

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