Provisional Blog

Does Telecommuting Make Sense for Your Team? Here’s How to Tell

February 16th, 2016

As one of the Northwest’s top recruiting and staffing services, Provisional knows that in today’s world, many employee want to be able to work from home. The trouble is, telecommuting isn’t always the right situation for every worker. So if an employee comes to you asking to telecommute, how can you determine whether or not it makes sense? Here are a five areas to evaluate:

#1: Your employee.

If the employee just started at your company and you don’t have an accurate sense of their work ethic and abilities, then let them know they need to complete their probationary period before you can consider such requests. If, however, the employee is tried and tested, as well as a valuable asset to the company, then consider letting them telecommute.

#2: The job.

Certain jobs are conducive to virtual work, while others are not. So when you’re making a decision about telecommuting, you have to look beyond the actual employee and evaluate their job, as well. You want to make sure they hold a position that can be done from home with minimal disruptions to the team.

#3: Whether or not they already work from home.

Thanks to technology, most employees no longer work between the hours of 9 to 5 at the office. They’re checking their emails, responding to requests, and clocking hours at home, as well. If this is the case, and especially if there are certain aspects of their job that they already perform from home, then it makes sense to let them telecommute for a portion of the work week.

#4. Your management style.

Your management style plays a part in whether or not to let employees telecommute. If you need employees on hand, and want to check in regularly with them in person, then letting employees telecommute may not be the best option for your management style and your team. However, keep in mind, that may also impact your ability to retain top performers.

#5. Your team.

Some teams need regular in person collaboration in order to be truly effective. It may be due to a certain project, or simply the nature of the work in general. Whatever the case, make sure you’re not setting your people up for failure if you allow telecommuting, but know it’s going to negatively impact performance.

Clearly, allowing employees to work from home isn’t the right decision for every company. But don’t just reject your employees’ requests because it’s never been done before either. If you’re still unsure, allow a couple “test” employees to work from home and evaluate their performance. Based on hard facts, you can then make the best decision about telecommuting going forward.

Do you need help hiring for your team, either virtual or in house? Call Provisional. Since 1994, we’ve been the Northwest’s leader in specialized recruiting and staffing services, placing over 6,000 direct-hire professionals with companies in Seattle, Spokane, and Coeur d’Alene.

Contact us today. We’re ready to help you find the people you need.