Merge's Blog

When you let them telecommute, you create engaged employees

All year, I’ve been offering ideas in our ongoing series on specific things leaders can do to create highly motivated and engaged employees.  Earlier this month, I talked about giving your employees positive opportunities to interact with your senior management.  Today’s tip (which also happens to be #30 in this series): let your employees telecommute.

Let your employees telecommute

Let them work from home; not necessarily every day, but how about a few days a week, or even once a week?  Heck, even once a month is hugely motivating.  Even occasional telecommuting leads to highly engaged employees … because they view it as freedom – the independence to be productive, stay motivated and save time. Now I am well aware that there are certain jobs that don’t lend themselves to telecommuting – I mean can you imagine being a retail store clerk or a grocery store cashier from afar?  But … the vast majority of jobs have at least some responsibilities that can be done from a distance.  And in some cases, these tasks can be completed much more efficiently if they’re away from the daily distractions of the workplace.

With today’s technology, working from home is no longer as impossible as it might have once been.  Think about it – no fighting traffic or transit to get to and from work, uninterrupted time to focus and get things done, availability via a mobile device (phone or email) should an emergency occur, and clear expectations about what will get accomplished during the “telecommuting” time – do you think a few of your employees might find this motivating?

Don’t … at your peril

The reality is that if your organization doesn’t offer it as an option, at least periodically, it will put you at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to recruiting, hiring and keeping top performers. So if you want engaged employees, think about how you can offer telecommuting as an alternative.  Or else, watch while your best and brightest walk out the door … right over to your competition.

So … what has been your experience with letting your people telecommute, even occasionally?  What works, and what are some of the challenges?  Perhaps you are an occasional telecommuter yourself.  If so, tell us about it please.

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