Last year, we witnessed an absolute uproar about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to reverse the company’s existing telework policy. This week, the 2014 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list was released. As a nod to the ongoing discussions about company culture, perks, and benefits, we wanted to take this week to talk about telecommuting and the benefits and realities of working remotely.
So far, we have discussed some B2B companies getting telecommuting right, whether or not telecommuting could be a viable option for your organization, and how to make telecommuting work for your B2B business.
Now, we’ll give you three tips on how to minimize the potential downfalls of telecommuting from an organizational perspective:
1. It all starts with the right employees.
It’s clear that the ability to manage yourself in the autonomous environment of working remotely isn’t perfect for every employee. In fact, it takes a certain kind of employee to manage their schedule and productivity effectively. Using a personality or work habit assessment such as Affintus or Birkman can give you some insight into whether or not an employee might have what it takes to get the job done from home.
You can also initiate a probationary period for new hires in positions where telecommuting will make up as least part of their job to ensure you’ve made the right hire for the job.
2. Give the right employees the right tools.
Before you decide to make changes to your telecommuting policy, make sure you have the right tools in place to give your team the best chance for success. Cloud collaboration tools such as Basecamp from 37Signals, video conferencing tools, and time tracking software can provide a solid structure for your telecommuters to manage their work and collaborate with coworkers.
3. Get your security ducks in a row before launching your telecommuting policy.
Especially if you will allow or require teleworking employees to bring their own devices, make sure you have the right backup and security tools in place for employees to back up their company data to a shared database.