Telecommuting Tips

CIO Magazine

CIO magazine ran an article ‘7 Things the CIO Should Know About Telecommuting’ with great pointers on this tactic for exploiting Dynamic Work…

1. Telecommuting Saves Money. Truly.
Telecommuters Really Can Be More Productive.
Telecommuting Doesn't Work for Every Individual.
Trust Your People.
Hone Management Skills for Telecommuting.
Keep the Telecommuter in the Loop.
Tools and Technology Make a Big Difference.

I often see #5 – Management Skills – as one of the major blockers. Managers don’t support telecommuting and flexible work not truly because of concerns about the employee or the business, but rather concerns about their ability to manage.

“Telecommuting is a true test of a manager's skill. It's hard enough to measure employee output when the individual is in the office; now supervisors need to add the complexity of doing it from a distance. And not every manager possesses the necessary skills for keeping tabs on telecommuters.

“Elizabeth Ross, director of technology projects execution at AMEC Earth & Environmental, has telecommuted and managed telecommuters. She sees a direct relationship between the strength of a manager and the telecommuting experience. ‘Managers who know how to manage resources, subcontractors, and the like, can make the situation work, sometimes exceptionally,’ she says. ‘Managers who don't communicate well, [who] don't know how to manage their own time well, and so on, don't get around to checking in or managing the telecommuter very well — if at all.’ “

“It's that latter kind of manager (for example, the inept manager) who's typically the least supportive of telecommuting, according to Ross, because the work arrangement highlights the manager's weaknesses and requires him or her to improve or change his or her style. For that reason, user experience consultant Albers suggests that only managers ‘who have demonstrated extraordinary organization and leadership abilities’ should be allowed to manage telecommuters.”