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U.S. Companies More Open to Remote Work Arrangements
Face time at the office isn't what it used to be

By SHRM Online staff  9/22/2011
 

One-third of U.S. chief financial officers (CFOs) say remote work arrangements—such as telecommuting and working from satellite offices—have increased at their companies in the prior three years, according to a survey by staffing services firm Accountemps.

The 2011 survey drew on telephone interviews with 1,400 CFOs across the U.S.

CFOs were asked, "Have remote work arrangements within your company increased, decreased or remained the same in the last three years?"

Increased greatly

11%

Increased somewhat

22%

No change

57%

Decreased somewhat

3%

Decreased greatly

1%

Doesn't apply/no remote work

7%

Source: Accountemps. (Total does not equal 100% because of rounding.)

"The prevalence of mobile technologies and wireless communication makes it easier for companies to support flexible work arrangements for their employees," commented Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Although not all positions are suited to remote work arrangements, for those that are, this option can help give professionals more control over their schedules and aid in recruitment and retention efforts."

Messmer added, "Businesses that are considering remote work arrangements should set clear policies and establish specific productivity goals."

Accountemps identifies five tips for employers and employees: 

 

Advice for employers

Advice for employees

Communication

Keep remote workers in the loop on the latest news about the department and company. Don't rely solely on e-mail: Schedule regular calls and in-person meetings.

Provide frequent status updates to the boss on key projects, and look for opportunities to interact with your manager and colleagues.

Resources

Ensure that off-site employees have the necessary resources, including appropriate network access.

If you are using your own computer and phone system, make sure your equipment is up to date. You should be as productive working remotely as you are in the office.

Planning

Establish expectations and guidelines at the outset so you can monitor the arrangement and adjust as necessary.

Anticipate potential concerns your employer might have about an offsite work arrangement, and be prepared to discuss how you plan to handle them.

Security

Work with your information technology personnel to set up the requisite security protocols.

Ensure that your computer and other equipment are safeguarded by the company against security threats.

Camaraderie

To ensure that remote workers continue to feel connected to the group, include them in team activities and recognize their accomplishments in front of their colleagues.

Try to join group activities, from off-site trainings to department celebrations, as much as possible. Seek input from co-workers when brainstorming, and volunteer to assist them when they need help.

Quick Links:

SHRM Online Benefits Discipline

SHRM Online Workplace Flexibility Resource Page
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