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Call it what you will, telework or telecommuting or remote work has grown nearly 80 percent in the U.S. since 2005. It is also something that TechSoup and several of our donor partners have championed for years.
Telework means an employee or volunteer regularly does work outside of the office, usually at home or when traveling. In this age of mobile devices and cloud computing, many workers now have ample tools to work effectively wherever they are, but one major concern organizations still have is how to effectively manage teleworkers so productivity doesn't drop.
That's where telework policies come in. We've compiled some resources to help organizations better manage teleworkers.
Allowing employees to telework can increase productivity, reduce facility costs, lower absenteeism, and reduce turnover. That's why government, the private sector, and nonprofits have all been increasingly adopting telework.
Not surprisingly, employees also like to have the option to do it. Teleworkers can each save $10,000 per year by working from home at least half-time, according to a Citrix whitepaper outlining the benefits of telework.
The savings to a charity can also be extensive. You can see what those would be for your organization using the Global Workplace Analytics Employer Workplace Savings Calculator (free registration is required to use the tool).
With all those potential benefits, what's stopping nonprofits from allowing their staff and volunteers to work remotely? Often it is that organizations don't know how to manage those teleworkers to ensure they're truly doing their work.
Some of the most concrete advice I found on practical management of teleworkers is Jacob Griscom's article How Telecommunications Is Changing Work for Nonprofits, in particular his section on systems for measuring results and accountability.
Regular check-ins via phone, instant messaging, web conferencing, or email seem to be useful for managers.
Yet even in the most optimal open work environments, certain tasks, meetings, trainings, and creative processes are either impossible or severely limited if employees can't meet face-to-face. To address this, Griscom recommends meeting face to face when necessary.
He also talks about developing a "results-only" work environment. This type of management emphasizes and rewards productivity rather than time at work.
Here are some more resources to help you manage remote staff effectively:
Here are some good resources that I found in going through the glut of online information:
Do you have experience managing teleworkers (or teleworking yourself)? Share your experience in the comments below.
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Image 2: DPLA-Public Domain-Google digitized-Hathi Trust
Image 3: markos86 / Shutterstock
Image 4: Bloomua / Shutterstock
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Telework, when it's unpaid, is virtual volunteering. When I started, there was no research regarding online volunteering, so I used a combination of traditional volunteer management research, resources and publications and telecommuting manuals to come up with the original suggestions for how to work remotely with volunteers using the Internet, promoted via the Virtual Volunteering Project. Some of those resources can be found here: virtualvolunteering.wikispaces.com/remote
Also, here is some of my own advice regarding how to manage online staff (paid or volunteer), and how staff can convince their work place to let them work remotely at least some of the time: www.coyotecommunications.com/.../telecommute.shtml
Its a great take the I got now from this post. Its really helpful for me I need to do some outsourcing work.Thanks.
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