Telework Week

5 Tools 2017_0.pngWe agree that the best commute is no commute, even if it's not every day. We want to help you make the case for creating a telework policy in your workplace.

Employees can telework part time, full time, just occasionally or only during emergency conditions. Whether you’re an employer considering a telework option or an employee hoping to have the option, we’ve got resources to get you started.

'I know it will work. Help me make the case to my employer'

Offering a telework option can help your employer by attracting top talent, saving money, improving productivity, and more. However, keepin mind that if your company doesn't already offer this benefit, it means creating more work for your supervisor as company officials develop the policy. Treat your plan as you would any other business proposal, and ensure you've done your homework.

When drafting your plan, keep these things in mind:

  • A schedule: Determine which day/s of the week you would like to telework. Take a few weeks to track your appointments out of the office, days you tend to have work that could be done from home, etc. Determine the most convenient day for your company for you to be physically “out of the office” while you are teleworking. In your initial proposal, a trial period is a good strategy so your bosses won’t feel inextricably committed to something they aren’t sure about.
  • An equipment and workspace agreement: Will you provide your own equipment at home? Will you commit to dedicating a room or space apart from the rest of your home as an official workspace? Who will pay for your internet connection and software? Do you have an ergonomic chair and proper desk for teleworking? How will you ensure the work you do won’t fall into unauthorized hands?
  • Accessibility: How do you propose to be accessible to your boss and co-workers during work hours when you aren’t physically present? Can you be reached by cell phone? Will you use an instant messaging service to communicate with co-workers? Is email an effective tool for your situation?
  • Connectivity: How will you be connected to the office while teleworking? Will you share files between your home computer and your office? Do you have access to your company’s LAN (local area network) at home? If not, can you get it? Will you transfer files via email or on disk?
  • Work Description: Tell your boss what kinds of work you expect to be able to do while teleworking at home. Will you save your writing projects for telework days? Do you have projects that require concentration for long periods? How will you keep yourself busy and productive while you are teleworking? Results-oriented work is the clearest way to establish accountability and to make your results measurable.
  • Dependent Care: If you have children or seniors you care for, most telework experts advise against using telework as a substitute for any type of dependent care. Let your employer know what care arrangements you will have on your teleworking days.
  • Reporting: Tell your boss how you propose to be accountable for the work you do on your teleworking days. Offer to create a weekly log outlining tasks you expect to complete on your day or days away from the office. At the end of your telework day, record on the log what you were able to complete and other tasks you did during the day.
  • Legal Issues: Employers have been burned by teleworking idiots who, for example, claimed that a trip on the way to the kitchen was a work-related injury. How will you ensure your employer won’t be subject to such abuse by you?

These tips were taken from

Telework success story: The Bob Barker Company 

Bob Barker Company, a large employer in the Triangle area, instituted a telework program in 2015 with the help of GoSmart. A large distribution firm with locations in more than one time zone, the company's teleworking staff handle confidential information on a daily basis, and its telework policy is thriving.

"Bob Barker Company was named one of Triangle Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in the Triangle in 2015. Our teleworking option is one of our flexible work arrangements that caused our team members to rate the company so favorably. We have had a measurable reduction in electricity usage since implementing the program and a reduction in our carbon footprint. We have greatly improved our ability to continue servicing our customers during winter weather and our team members have learned how to work productively remotely."

Nancy Johns, VP Corporate Social Responsibility