Teleworking (i.e., telecommuting, remote work) allows employees to work from a remote location, whether at home or satellite office, within the framework and expectations described in standard policies.
Employers offer the telework option to:
- Avoid absences or tardiness caused by regional construction or adverse weather
- Continue standard levels of productivity during office relocations
- Accommodate employees required to attend offsite client meetings
- Support other departmental or employee-specific needs
Holland America in Seattle leads the way with one of the highest reported telework “trips” of the last two years. In 2015, Holland America reported that at least 175 employees took advantage of their telework policy in one week alone.
Telework policy best practices include:
- Standard policies for all employees (i.e., not “rewarding” employees with the telework option)
- Clear approval processes with direct supervisor or manager
- Clear guidelines for remote office needs, both physical (e.g., desk and private room) and digital (e.g., phone access, laptop, internet)
Holland America plans to merge and consolidate offices with Princess Tours in 2016/2017. During this process, their telework options will become invaluable in maintaining consistent communications and productivity levels among employees.
☐ Review current telework policy if one exists.
☐ Request major stakeholder input: executive level, department heads, managers, HR, IT.
☐ Incorporate recommendations into policy and circulate for review and approval (multiple iterations likely for consensus).
☐ Purchase any necessary digital (e.g., remote access tools, security software, etc.) or physical (e.g., laptops) resources.
☐ Train managers or direct supervisors on teleworking policies and request procedures.
☐ Launch telework policy and communicate to all employees and new hires, and include as part of transportation benefits.
Resources for Further Learning
- Commute Seattle Telework Services
- King County’s Worksmart Program
- Kitsap Telework Toolkit
- Telework Virginia