We have an approval process that all employees need to go through before they begin teleworking. This can be an incredibly helpful as it helps us track how many people are interested, how often they plan on teleworking, where they plan on being when they telework, etc. We also have time tracking sheets that help us make sure employees are working on the tasks that they say they are going to while they telework.
Our program began with a petition from the Board of Orange County Commissioners for our staff to look into setting up a telework program. We wanted to keep things as simple and lightweight as possible. We actually found during our initial setup that a lot of employees were already teleworking; it was common for employees to work from home without referring to it formally as teleworking.
One of our goals in implementing telework was to offer our employees a better work-life balance. Being a local government organization, we have limitations in offering competitive salaries as compared to the private sector. We are always looking for creative ways to provide incentives to our employees. Telework and flexible working schedules have both been incredibly successful and have been very positively received by our employees.
I think it is important to make sure that when you begin a telework program, people are aware that teleworking is not necessarily something different. While you may be at a different location, a telework day comes with all the expectations and responsibilities as a day of work in the office. There are certainly tasks that are more conducive to working from home, things that need uninterrupted time, but generally the facilitation of the workday should be the same.