If unfamiliar with the idea, teleworking is an arrangement between you and your supervisor where you are allowed to work from a remote worksite. And while not physically in the office, you are expected to perform your job—which could mean taking a conference call at home in your pajamas or catching up on emails at a public library (probably not in your pajamas). Whatever you wear, telework is not a new concept and more and more workplaces are giving a go once they understand how it might fit in with a departmental workflow.
As a work commute option, telework is an ideal goClub "commute mode" as it not only takes a car off the road, it allows for more work-life balance without jeopardizing productivity.
Are You Telework Ready?
Readying yourself for teleworking does take some planning. First, ask yourself some questions. Can my work be done via telework? Do I have the right hardware (i.e. laptop, home computer)? Do I have the right software? Does my laptop or home computer need VPN access? How will I keep connected with my supervisor (i.e. Skype, text, email)?
Determining whether you are ready to telework really hinges on whether your particular position allows for you to work out of the office and/or if your workflow can be structured around a regular part-time work-from-home work day. If the answer is yes, Human Resources at UC Davis offers a start guide for teleworking. They suggest that you:
- Watch the “Telecommuting Basics: Maximizing Productivity as a Remote Employee” video in the UC Learning Center (60 minutes)
- Read through A Guide to Flexible Work Arrangements at UC Davis
- Complete a Flexible Work Arrangement Form/Proposal
Benefits of Telework
There’s no shortage of studies showing a path forward for implementing telework for employers and employees. Financial resource, Fundera, summarizes the benefits employers might see if they allow their employees to work from home, which includes:
- Innovation | When an employee works remotely, they can work in a setting they feel most comfortable in to spur their creativity.
- Productivity | Working remotely can actually boost productivity for many telecommuters.
- Work-Life Balance | A healthy work-life balance saves employees from chronic stress and helps them refrain from sacrificing aspects of their personal lives.
- Employee Engagement | Gallup found that engagement is highest when employees worked remotely part of the week and in the office the remaining time.
- Reduced Absence | Employees who would have called off to deal with an illness or a busy schedule can instead work from the comfort of their own couch.
- Worker Retention | Letting employees work from home can help cut back on your business’s turnover rates by offering employees a fringe benefit they may want to stick around for.
- Cost Savings | Having employees work from home means you can opt for office space that is smaller and less expensive, reducing the cost of utilities and rent. You can also save on office furniture, coffee, snacks and more.