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Telecommuting Tips

By March 8, 2013

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In the aftermath of the work-from-home debate sparked by Yahoo's Marissa Meyer,  other companies like Best Buy are following suit and eliminating telecommuting perks.

Still, 20 to 30 million people currently work from home at least one day a week and 72% of employees say flexible work arrangements like telecommuting would cause them to choose one job over another.

Below are a few tips from Brad Karsh, President of JB Training Solutions and author of Manager 3.0: A Millennial's Guide to Rewriting the Rules of Management, on how to make telecommuting work for everyone:

1. Managers:  Make time for regular feedback. Even in a remote work situation, feedback should be day-to-day, and it doesn't have to be formal.  This is your opportunity to set clear expectations and address anything about the remote work situation that is/isn't working.  Be open in discussing productivity if you think it's an issue.

2.  Telecommuters: Keep your team posted. To avoid the assumption that you are sitting on the couch catching up on Season 3 of Downton Abbey, be available to your team so they can depend on you for support and connection.  Send "FYI" updates to the team so everyone is in the loop.  Figure out how to anticipate the needs of your team - even from a distance.  Go above and beyond to honor the privilege of flexibility you've been given.

3.  Everyone: Make some face time. It's difficult to build a strong company culture when people don't see each other.  If possible, make face time with your co-workers at least once a week.  Meet for coffee, grab lunch, or go to the office for meetings.  As the Yahoo HR Department put it: "Yahoo isn't just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices."

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