Telecommuting Success

Flexible options that support the work/life balance are increasingly being implemented in many organizations to attract and retain high-performing employees.  Workplaces increasingly use agile solutions that offer employees flexibility in aspects of work like adjustable schedules, unlimited paid time off, and the ability to transfer down. In fact, almost one third of employees consider flexibility the most important factor when considering job offers. (1)

One of the most important developments in workplace agility is the option to telecommute which grew by 115% over the past decade. (2) There are a lot of considerations when developing a telecommuting policy.  Is there top-level support, what positions are conducive to telecommuting, who will be able to telecommute and for how many days per week? (3)

Equally important to telecommuting success is both determining the logistical aspects of an off-site job, as well as the soft-skill competencies employees need to stay connected to the organization.  We generally can decide if the technical and logistical aspects of a job is a good fit for telecommuting, but we don’t often pay as much attention to important organizational competencies like collaboration, communication, integrity and agility skills that will be needed from telecommuting employees.  

If you are using a 360 degree assessment program in your organization, like our ActiveView 360 platform, you can use the aggregate data to determine current levels of proficiency in the soft-skill competencies like the ones mentioned above.  Understanding this baseline profile of competency proficiency can help determine where there may be gaps between the actual performance of employees and the needs of the organization.  Training programs and focused action-planning can then be implemented to close the gaps in expertise.  

Telecommuting offers many benefits to organizations and aggregate data from 360 degree assessments can help create a focus on the soft-skills needed for telecommuters to be successful.  Measure the strength of your organization based on competencies like communication, collaboration, change management, agility and integrity using aggregate data from 360 degree assessments to help implement a successful telework policy that fits your organization.

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1. It’s important to keep flexing IICornell HR Review
2. 2017 State of Telecommuting In the US II Global WorkplaceAnalytics
3. What Should We Consider Prior to TelecommutingPractice? II SHRM