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5 Telecommuting Tips for Employees and Employers

Woman paying bills on computer.

While telecommuting has the power to increase overall productivity, strengthen business relationships and enrich employee benefits, it requires a shift in behavior and structure for both employees and employers.

Learn some tips for maximizing the success of telecommuting endeavors.

Employers should:

  1. Establish policies and expectations up front. Consider things like ongoing training, flexible hours, review and promotion criteria as well as technology needs and corporate communication requirements.

  2. Never make telecommuting a solitary endeavor. Today’s technology allows virtual teams to have video interactions and build camaraderie. Set up weekly video conferences to keep employees accountable and collaborative.

  3. Set individualized goals based on the particular employee. Know which telecommuting employees need a more hands-on approach and which do better with space.

  4. Use telecommuting as a way to increase the talent pool.

  5. Take into consideration key legal issues related to telecommuting including wage and hour compliance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Speak with a lawyer to ensure you are adhering to the applicable federal and state laws.

Employees should:

  1. Remain professional in their appearance even if they are not in the office. While this does not mean suit and tie, telecommuting employees should wear appropriate dress if a video conference were to come up. This may also allow their mind to be in a more work-oriented place and enhance performance.

  2. Set boundaries for their professional versus personal life. Set working hours, break times and a policy on handling personal matters and treat their home office as if it were a real office.

  3. Divide up their day into chunks of time and activities. This keeps their mind energized and prevents them from getting stuck at their desk all day.

  4. Create a dedicated work environment that is only used for work. This prevents them from getting distracted.

  5. Communicate on a regular basis with managers and co-workers. Be sure at least some of the interactions are in person to keep them in their employer’s mind at promotion time.

Telecommuting offers a wealth of potential benefits, but its success is dependent on the efforts of both the employer and employees. Take the time to plan how the telecommuting will be structured and monitor and alter the process if necessary once it is in place.

Should you have any questions related to workplace issues such as telecommuting, please contact us online or call our offices at (561) 653-0008. At Scott • Wagner and Associates, P.A., our approachable and knowledgeable attorneys are dedicated to providing skilled legal representation for your unique situation.    


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* Cathleen Scott is licensed to practice in Florida only.

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