One of the best predictors of a telecommuting program's success is whether or not there has been training for the telecommuters and their managers. It's not that being or managing telecommuters is all that difficult - it's just that a little training goes a long way to convert what might be trial-and-error implementation into trial and success.
Gil Gordon has trained hundreds of telecommuters and their managers over the last twenty years. His proven, practical three-part training delivers the information both groups need to get off to a great start. The three programs are conducted in sequence in one day: first the telecommuters and managers have their own two-hour sessions, and then both groups come together for a two-hour planning and discussion session to work out the details of the telecommuting arrangement.
Among the topics covered for the telecommuters are:
- Where and how to set up a home office
- Planning for security, safety and ergonomics in the home office
- Setting up the optimal schedule and work plans at home
- Dealing with family, friends and neighbors
- Taking on the "deliverables" mentality
- Staying in touch with clients and co-workers in the office
- Managing your career from a distance
Among the topics covered for the managers are:
- Managing by results instead of by observation
- Fine-tuning skills for setting performance standards and giving ongoing performance feedback
- Keeping telecommuters linked into the office
- Career management issues for telecommuters
- Spotting problems early and dealing with them effectively
Among the topics covered in the joint discussion session are:
- Details of schedule, availability, phone coverage, and office days
- Planning the first few weeks of telecommuting
- Minimizing effects on department workflow
- Providing technical (equipment) support as needed
- Dealing with network outages and other problems
These training sessions improve the quality of the telecommuting program by taking the guesswork out of remote work, and making sure that everyone has thought through the critical issues.
If you're interested, contact Gil to discuss the details.
Also, Work and Family Connection, in partnership with Gil Gordon Associates, offers two Web-based online training courses for telecommuters/teleworkers and their managers. These are available for internal license and can be customized on request.