I'm interested, but where do I start ?

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Whether telework is a small change or a big jump for your business, there are a few ways you can get started.

Policies and guidelines

Many businesses already have informal arrangements with staff allowing them to work from home occasionally. The difference between this type of ad hoc work from home scenario and a telework arrangement is that a more formal agreement between managers and employees is in place. It allows for regular home-based work with agreed parameters, expectations and outcomes.

You will need to have a clearly defined telework policy in place so that everyone involved is aware of their roles and responsibilities. This could incorporate things like, information about the physical items and IT support provided; performance expectations and monitoring; communication protocols; work health and safety issues etc.

Your telework policy should include the steps your employees need to take to request and move into a telework arrangement. As a first step this would generally involve an employee instigating a discussion with their supervisor or another person identified in the telework policy, such as a human resources manager.

If you already have an informal working from home policy with your employees, start by reviewing these arrangements and think about what works and what doesn't. From there you can consider developing policies and guidelines that form the basis of your agreements with teleworking employees.

Types of teleworking roles

Your telework policy could also contain information about the type of roles in the organisation that can practically be supported by telework. Not all roles are suitable and not all employees have the characteristics suited to teleworking. Managers making decisions about telework requests need to be aware of the organisation's policy in relation to the type of roles, responsibilities and reasons for telework that your organisation can accommodate.

Try a pilot program

Many businesses start with a trial or pilot program and build from there. A pilot program helps to identify and overcome some challenges, particularly where there is concern about issues such as the return on investment, productivity or managing employees.

A pilot program could include 10 to 100 employees in a large organisation, or 2 to 3 in a smaller one. This would provide a small enough sample to monitor the outcomes. A trial period of three to six months would be enough time to allow managers and employees to adjust to the new ways of working and assess the benefits.

Silah & other telework service providers are always there to assist companies with all their needs and answer any telework related questions that they may have ..

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