Key Points For Setting Up Temporary Telecommute Situations

Bad weather conditions, injuries and illnesses seem to be times when employees get the chance to telecommute - not necessarily by choice or true desire to telecommute, but as the only way to get their work done. Even if you prefer your staffers not telecommute full-time, it could be an option for a variety of special circumstances including:

Among the steps employers can take to help ensure work productivity and minimize unplanned disruptions:

  1. The most important lesson employers are beginning to learn is the need to plan ahead. Employers can begin to make preparations that will keep their offices productive, even when they have to "go virtual" in the face of manmade or natural disasters.
  2. With this in mind, employers should determine what provisions employees need -- and already have -- at home to prepare them to telecommute.
  3. Set a good example: Sick managers should be urged not to show up at the workplace as employees may otherwise simply view the message to stay home as lip service.
  4. Set guidelines and make them visible to employees:
    1. What temporary situations are approved for telecommuting;
    2. Protocols for accessing company intranets and networks from home;
    3. Employee/Supervisor Communication guidelines - stating that it is the responsibility of the employee to ensure communication back to the supervisor is done at appropriate intervals (or as designated by the supervisor).
  5. Employers can help their workers prepare a workspace at home by providing some basic essentials -- to create a "telecommuting kit" to keep at home which includes:
    1. list of important phone numbers and email addresses, including coworkers' and clients', if appropriate (make sure they have your number, too)
    2. overnight courier envelopes’
    3. copies of work on disk (be sure software is compatible); and
    4. stationary with company letterhead.

By having employees telecommute from home during the winter flu and weather season, business disruptions can be minimized while a certain level of services and productivity is maintained. Arrangements made ahead of time for telecommuting in particular situations allows companies to plan their response and manage inevitable occasions when the normal work condition is interrupted. This makes it possible for companies to assure continual operations and maintain organizational productivity.