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Balancing act: Company offers 4 tips for managing telecommuters

Published: Tuesday, April 29 2014 9:23 a.m. MDT

  • "Outline expectations." Robert Half Technology suggests that you let remote workers know how often they should check in by phone or email. "Also, set clear goals and benchmarks to help mobile workers stay on track with objectives," the company said.
  • "Leverage technology tools." Managers need to make sure telecommuters have access to teleconferencing, online meetings and file-sharing services to improve collaboration. "Confirm that everyone can stay in touch easily and access the information they need quickly and securely," the Robert Half release said.
  • "Create opportunities for face time." It's a good idea to ask people who work remotely to spend a day in the office a few times each month if possible, the company said. Also encourage them to attend important events and meetings in person.
  • "Check in with remote employees regularly." This was my favorite point, as the Robert Half release mentioned that remote work arrangements can blur the lines between an employee's work and personal life. "Some employees who work from home have trouble 'unplugging.' Encourage them to create balance, which ultimately aids productivity in the long term," the company said.

There's my favorite word: balance. As important as it is for individual workers, it's also important for companies to find a balance between their bottom-line needs and the possible benefits of allowing workers to choose flexible work arrangements. Building an environment that allows for such arrangements can be difficult, but companies that put in the time reap the benefits of both a happier work force and the same or better productivity.

Anita would seem to prove this is true. While her situation is a bit different since she's not working full time, she is clearly offering value to her employer even if she isn't in the office.

With creativity and patience, such "win-win" opportunities could present themselves for more and more companies. That bodes well for strengthening the trend toward flexible work in the future.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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