What is Teleworking?

Teleworking is the completion of work in a remote setting, most often home. Technology allows a teleworker access to all files, software, and email that is at their work desk in an office – most often through a “Remote Desktop” to a personal computer at home. Many companies already have remote desktop software access for workers, and can simply “turn access on” with manager approval. However, even is an organization does not have any current remote access resources at their disposal, free resources exist, including Google’s Remote Desktop service. 


Teleworking Tips

Tips for Managers: 

  • Maintain higher-level of communications, especially by phone or chat
  • Set a schedule for routine check-ins with remote workers 
  • Ask how remote workers “are doing” on a more personal level


Tips for Remote Workers:

  • Check-in regularly; morning, lunch, and end of day
  • Maintain relationships with managers through intentional social niceties
  • Make up any work-time diverted to personal business during the day



5 Tips to Succeed at Teleworking Video

Teleworking Resources

Check out our Work From Home Quick Guide

Listen to our COVID-19 RTD Service Changes and Teleworking Basics Webinar

Read our Teleworking Resources and Advice article

Utilize our teleworking Sample Policy and Sample Teleworker Agreement

Common Teleworking Questions Resources

Why are Flexible Workplaces so popular today?  We have a new generation of workers who grew up with technology. Teamwork doesn’t need to be face-to-face anymore. Many workers desire flexibility in the workplace and the flexibility is often the top factor considered by prospective employees.

Can middle management effectively monitor employees who are not visible at the office?  In teleworking arrangements, managers must know how to manage by results, not by sight.  Good communication that everyone is comfortable with is imperative to this. (For our guidance, see our Teleworking Resources and Advice article).

Who can telework?  It depends on your company’s policy about eligibility. Some employers will require an employee to work in the office for the first year to become accustom to the corporate culture. Others define annual performance measurements that must be achieved to become eligible. But the first item is looking at whether work can be done from home. Employees with customer interface may be challenged in finding work that can be taken home. However, a broad range of departments have used teleworking effectively, including finance, human resources, engineering, and many others.

Who will manage staff when the work from home?  Teleworking is not a change in job function or responsibility. The existing manager should continue to supervise, but in some cases, that manager may require training (which Smart Commute can help to provide).

What type of employees should work from home?  The ideal teleworkers are your top performers. A good teleworker is well organized, can work independently and requires minimal supervision.  Successful teleworkers have a high degree of job skill and knowledge, and strong time management skills.  Teleworkers like working at home or away from the office for at least part of the week, and don’t mind working alone.  Teleworking is not ideal or desirable for every employee. Low performing employee are likely to be less effective working from home without direct supervision.

Who is the ideal manager for supervising teleworkers?  The ideal supervisor of teleworkers has a positive attitude towards teleworking and is willing to allow employees to telework.  A supervisor manages by results and not by monitoring work hours.  Effective supervisors delegate work easily, are well organized and trust their employees.  Not every manager is comfortable with a style of management that is conducive to successful teleworking.

Will employees work less if they are at home working unsupervised?  No, most employees want the telework arrangements to be successful. Studies show significant increases in productivity. The gains have been found to be as high as 20 percent. Fewer distractions, less stress and comfortable surroundings lend to the success of teleworking. However, not everyone is suited for teleworking, and employees who perform poorly in the office will probably perform even worse without direct supervision.

Interested in the answers to the tough questions?  See our Telework FAQs Document.

Telework Tomorrow Resources

Looking for more resources to implement your own telework policy? Look no further than Way To Go’s Telework Tomorrow Resources. 

For customizable teleworking policy templates, marketing materials, and more download the Telework Tomorrow Toolkit.

Have More Teleworking Questions, or Interested in Help?

Contact Carson at Smart Commute at any time – we’re here to help!