Telecommuting is one of many flexible work arrangements that a business can establish for their staff, to enable them to achieve a more successful balance between work responsibilities and family life (others include flexible schedules, part-time and partial-year appointments, job sharing, alternate work days, and alternate work weeks.)

Now a days after the pandemic companies should carefully review both the advantages and the disadvantages before setting up new telecommuting agreements or Work From Home agreements, to explore the wide variety of arrangements possible, and to address potential problem areas. Pilot programs may be helpful in determining what type of arrangement will be most effective.

 

Companies should have a Telecommuting Policy or Work From Home Policy in place in order for employees to know the process for requesting to telecommute. If an employee is interested in discussing the possibility of telecommuting, the first step would be to fill out a Proposal for Telecommuting Agreement. Then a Telecommuting Agreement can be written up by the supervisor and both the supervisor and the employee can sign it. The Telecommuting Agreement spells out all the requirements and the expectations of the employee and of the supervisor in order for the telecommuting to be successful.
Business that currently have Telecommuting Agreements are encouraged to review the policy and guidelines annually, to ensure consistency of application and equitable treatment throughout the company. Remember, however, that what will work well for one position or person might not work for another. Success depends on both the nature of the work and the nature of the worker.
Below is an example of a  Proposal for a Telecommuting Agreement that should be filled out by the employee before discussing telecommuting with their supervisor:
1.- Determine what arrangement would best meet your needs:
Where do you propose to work (home, co-working space)?
What schedule would you like (days and hours on-site, days and hours at telecommuting site or co-working space)?
Which of your duties do you propose to perform at the telecommuting site?
Which do you propose to perform on-site?
If only a minor adjustment can be made to your work arrangements, what adjustment would be most valuable to you? (Examples: telecommute one day a week; be available to come in on short notice; suspend telecommuting during busiest times of the year.)
2.- Anticipate what problems this arrangement may cause for the organization. (Include the effect on your own assignment and how your role affects others, both within your department and externally.)
3.- Try to work out potential solutions to these concerns:
How will you communicate with your supervisor, co-workers, clients?
Will you be connecting to the companies via Zoom, Google?
If so, will you need an additional devices for your off-site office?
How will materials be kept readily available to those who need access?
How will you be able to respond to emergencies or other unexpected events in your department?
How will you assure the security of company materials and equipment?
Can you provide a workplace that is as safe as your on-site work site, so as to minimize the likelihood of injury? Usually the co-working spaces do.
4.- Outline ways in which your proposed arrangement might benefit the organization.
Will service hours be extended?
Will you be more productive? In what ways, and how will this be measured?
Will your department be able to free up equipment and space?
5.- Come up with a plan that addresses your own concerns and, to the extent that you can, those you anticipate from your supervisor, co-workers, and clients.
6.- Request a meeting with your supervisor to explain what arrangements you would like and why. Discuss possibilities with your supervisor; actively listen and be prepared to revise your plan. (Flexibility goes both ways!)
7.- Suggest a trial period of X months.
8.- Develop a plan and timetable for monitoring the effectiveness of the arrangement.
Updated December 1st, 2021
Posted by Press8Telecom on 4th February, 2013