More companies are turning to telecommuting. But beware: Management-wise, it’s a whole different animal.
“You get to work in your pajamas!”
“Another 4 p.m. ‘meeting’ with Oprah this afternoon?”
Telecommuters get their fair share of ribbing for having the “perfect” work arrangement. But if not paired with the right supervisor, these situations can end up anything but ideal.
New rules apply for them and you
You won’t be able to swing by their desks to see when that aging report will be ready. To keep telecommuters as productive as possible you’ll have to revamp some of your usual managerial techniques.
Whether you already have staffers that work full- or part-time from home or you’re just considering such a set-up, keep these manager-musts in mind:
- Keep them in the loop. True, your telecommuters will spend less time on office gossip and other movings and shakings around the office. But they can also feel isolated. While you’re certainly not going to call and “dish” with the folks that work for you, be sure to keep them updated about everything from new employees to different initiatives, even if they’re in other departments. You want to keep these folks part of your company culture.
- Stick to a schedule. With all you have on your plate, it can end up being several days or even a week before you realize you haven’t touched base with a particularly independent telecommuter. By scheduling a regular series of
check-ins (you’ll feel out how frequently is the right amount), both sides stay connected.