Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help Your Boss Say "Yes!" to Telecommuting

Right now everyone is getting way interested in telecommuting. We all want to save money on gas, save the environment, enjoy the fruits of widespread broadband, and wear slippers. We have read up on what our telecommuting proposal should include, we've carefully written up how it's going to help our employer while de-emphasizing how awesome it will be for us, the employees. That's all great and good, but your boss has a problem:

She doesn't have an official policy to measure your lovely telecommuting proposal against.

I'm sure she wants to say yes to you, but she's afraid. If she lets you wear slippers all day, pretty soon she has to do that for everyone, including that dead-eyed slacker in sector 7-G who never does anything anyway and is this close to being fired. And she doesn't want to do that.

Frankly, you don't want her to have to do that either, because dead-eyed slackers don't get any more lively-eyed at home, and people like that will bring down a telecommuting program. You need only top performers who continue to perform well even if they are wearing slippers.

So what to do? Volunteer to draft the corporate telecommuting policy. Offer to form a committee, find a powerful sponsor, and get something in place that will allow managers to cover their bases when evaluating telecommuting proposals. They need a rubric to fairly apply to all comers that will help them weed out the bad and reward the good without the appearance of favoritism that can sully these things.


Ethan @ M80 said...

Hi Stella,

Good advice!

I stumbled into your blog while researching remote offices on behalf of Cisco TechWiseTV, which is airing a 60 min educational webinar on the costs efficiencies and technologies of next-gen remote offices.

Drop me a line if you'd like to hear more or maybe interview a Cisco geek for your blog ;-)

Best regards,

Ethan Bauley
M80 on behalf of Cisco
ethan /at/ m80im.com

Stella Commute said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Ethan. I am soooooooo craving a Cisco telepresence system (well, actually any high-end telepresence system, I just see the Cisco ads all the time, so let the marketing folks know that it's working!). Tragically I'm a cheapskate on my own behalf and on my employer's, so it's probably not going to happen soon. Maybe we could install one here in my NM office as a demonstration project?!?!

Ethan @ M80 said...

Have you had a chance to actually use the Telepresence system in person?

Stella Commute said...

No, I haven't...I'd sure love to, though. Are there any sites in Albuquerque?

I'm most interested in systems that will give you high-end quality with a mix of homestyle broadband networks and larger corporate pipes. Because it seems like things get useful when you have high-end equipment in office-based conference rooms, but people from all over the place can get into that conference room with a reasonably-priced desktop rig.

That can run reliably on a home broadband connection.