- Perform well. In explaining the callbacks at Hewlett-Packard, Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said last year that telecommuting “had gotten applied more broadly than really made sense,” and would be limited to “people who are proficient and who’ve shown they can perform over time.” Make sure measurable objectives are set for your job, then meet them.
- Increase your visibility. One behavior sure to irk managers is to use work-at-home freedom to move to a location so remote, such as Hawaii, that travel costs soar. Although Intel disputes the assertion, people familiar with the callbacks there cite such abuses as a factor. Wherever you’re located, find ways to remain visible.
- Make an effort to collaborate. Elliott Masie, head of the Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., research organization, says many younger managers are comfortable collaborating online. But as pressures mount, older managers may revert to the notion that to build teamwork, “it’s important for everybody to sit around and sing ‘Kumbaya’ together,” he says. It may be wise to join that chorus.
There have been studies that there are some problems with telecommuting. The suprising issue is not with the telecommuters, rather it is with those left in the office. New study says telecommuting can hurt office morale writer Richard A. D’Errico reports that a study “…found that the greater the number of telecommuters at an organization, the less satisfied the office workers were with their jobs.”
So the HR challenge is making sure that the entire process gets managed appropriately. The study suggests that “…managers work to ensure that there’s more face-to-face contact among telecommuters and office workers, and provide office workers with more autonomy to do their jobs. “
What have been your experiences?
- Do you fear for your telecommuting job?
- Have you seen cutbacks in the numbers of telecommuters?
- Do non-telecommuters have morale problems in your workplace?
- What have you done to make yourself more “valuable”?