A common trend we hear from DC organizations with telework programs is a lack of participation, having less than 20% of employees working remotely. To help DC employers increase participation in their telework program, we’ve compiled a few tips below.
1. Allow More Employees to Telework
This may sound like a no brainer, but many organizations restrict teleworking and only allow employees with a certain level of seniority or specific positions to telework. Re-evaluate your existing telework policy to increase participation by reducing or removing restrictive eligibility criteria. Allowing all employees with duties that can be performed remotely to telework can decrease your overhead cost, maintain business continuity, and provide work/life balance to employees.
2. Promote the Program
Although you may be familiar with your telework program and all it entails, your employees may not be. We recommend promoting your telework program through regular announcements via email, on your intranet, and at staff meetings. Explaining the telework program and eligibility requirements during onboarding with new hires is an optimal time to raise awareness.
3. Lead by Example
Many times employees aren’t sure if they should take advantage of their telework benefit because they don’t see their manager or leadership in the company utilizing the benefit. To show employees they can use the telework benefit and will not be penalized or looked down upon, it’s important that managers and those in higher positions lead by example through teleworking on a regular basis and encouraging their employees to do so as well.
4. Encourage Flexibility
Telework arrangements don’t have to be all or nothing; Sometimes a telework arrangement of one or two days a week will work better than the full five. When possible, allowing flexibility in your telework program is a great way to expand access and interest in the program. For instance, employees may be more interested in telework on days that they have out of office meetings or when they need a larger block of time to focus on a project.
5. Set Clear Boundaries
One of the major benefits of a formal telework agreement is that employees and employers can be on the same page regarding expectations and boundaries. For many who found themselves teleworking for the first time this past year, it’s felt more like living at work than working from home. In an informal or unofficial telework arrangement, it can feel like you’re on call the entire day, regardless of your obligations. By clearly defining the program’s expectations and boundaries, you help create a better work environment for everyone involved.
We’re here to help! Schedule a telework meeting with one of our Employer Client Services managers for assistance with implementing these changes. Reach out with any telework or commuter program questions you may have.