The problem for many managers who are hesitant to allow telecommuting is that they have no way of knowing if employees are actually working. Follow these tips to ease that concern:
• Don’t treat it as a privilege. If employees see telecommuting as a reward, they may treat those days at home as light-working days. Instead, refer to telecommuting as an “option,” and set the expectation that it should be treated like any in-office workday.
• Make telecommuting an equal opportunity option. Do not allow some employees to work from home, and deny requests from others. That breeds resentment and hurts morale and productivity.
• Establish deliverables. When you grant employees the opportunity to telecommute occasionally, set goals for each day. For example, if someone requests to work from home, say something like, “Absolutely. Please make sure you make 20 customer calls and send me a status report on each by the end of the day” to keep them focused and productive.
— Adapted from “How to Keep Employees Productive When Working From Home,” Jayson DeMers, www.business.com.