More on the Management of Telecommuters
I’ve previously blogged about telecommuting in regard to handling in-house employees who may be disgruntled over remote working employees (http://lawbusinesstips.com/2009/06/24/telecommuting-disgruntled-co-workers/) and experiences shared by other companies (http://lawbusinesstips.com/2009/07/08/telecommuting-cost-savings-cisco/). Today, I found this blog post that is also worthwhile reading about the management of telecommuters: http://bit.ly/3NxO3N.
In addition to the tips and discussions found in the posts above, I add these suggestions for law firms and businesses that already have employees who telecommute:
(1) one to three times each year hold events that require employees with shared work goals to meet for continuing education and training, social time and general business sessions.
(2) If your telecommuters are not far away, have them come into the main office at least once a month (pre-scheduled for the convenience of all!) to touch base with their supervisors and co-workers in person.
(3) Create and maintain a diverse working environment mindset among all employees. This means management will not tolerate nay-saying or any other negative attitudes to develop toward its telecommuters (and visa versa!). Supervisors who say or imply anything negative against telecommuters are especially “poisonous” …..their negativity gives all employees implied permission to do the same and it ratifies the destructive act of behind-the-door backstabbing….destructive because it significantly decreases productivity, office morale and a team spirit mindset.
(4) Many things can cause friction between in-house employees and telecommuters including:
- general distrust of management and/or one’s co-workers,
- a lack of understanding about a telecommuter’s responsibilities,
- a failure by management to make it clear that each and every employee brings value to the team and plays a role in its success stories; and
- employees (in-house or telecommuters) with a “holier than thou” attitude and/or total lack of empathy for their co-workers’ responsibilities and related on-the-job pressures (most of us have been around the “Poor, poor me” types who think their job involves more stress and their plates are fuller than others!
Stop these poisons in their tracks or beware the rapid spread of negative consequences among the troops and on the quality of services or products.
(5) Via your internal newsletters or in person at department meetings, etc., regularly share positive comments about employee contributions, their different success stories — big and small, creative ways they’ve helped clients/customers or co-workers, etc. All too often we only let others hear about what someone hasn’t done or what they’ve done wrong (“When I’m right who remembers and when I’m wrong who FORGETS!”)….it’s important to ensure that we are sharing the positives as well – often and openly.
Telecommuting is becoming more widely accepted and utilized and it can be an extremely successful addition to any workplace IF we give it the planning and management attention needed. Please share your experiences, tips and other comments about telecommuting my taking a few minutes to submit your comments below. Many thanks for “listening” and adding to this discussion…wishing everyone a great week ahead!