It is imperative that supervisors set clear expectations about the telework agreement. While most employees will work hard to make the agreement successful, address issues immediately if you encounter performance problems. It is okay to end a telework agreement if it is not working for an employee. Again, traditional telework is one to two days per week. Below are some management guidelines to manage your employees successfully while teleworking.
- Training is extremely important. Ensure that employees are well-versed in the organization’s telework policies and IT procedures.
- In advance, discuss and define your expectations.
- Ensure employees inform managers of their telework schedule so they can be held accountable.
- Monitor performance and hold employees to the same expectations as when in the office.
- Host check-in opportunities with mobile and in-office team members as needed.
- Stay connected with employees that are teleworking to clarify questions, project/office developments, deadlines, etc.
- Ensure employees know all the expected methods of communication. Be transparent by sharing calendars, data, and documents, and using instant messenger and/or video conferencing.
- Consider moving team projects to online collaborative platforms.
- Encourage interaction and communication between teleworkers and non-teleworkers.
Build a trusting environment:
- Teleworking is an opportunity to build a trusting environment. Rather than micromanaging, establish clear goals and performance metrics to manage by results. Results are more important than face-to-face interaction.
- If you are able, try teleworking when you have the opportunity. This will help you see things from a teleworker’s perspective and make you aware of the benefits and challenges of teleworking.