If your company has employees or teams working from the road, a home office or teleworking, how can managers and coworkers ensure they can be reached? Create a scheduling document to track teleworkers’ days out of the office and their individual contact information. The sample guidelines below, as originally reported in my NetworkWorld Home Base column in 2001, are from the U.S. Department of Energy Flexiplace schedule.
– Make planning a group effort. Include all team members, and build consensus about team rules. Hands-on participation builds acceptance.
– Include company rules or guidelines. Company telework policy must be outlined so workers know what’s expected of them. As for subtle changes to suit the team’s needs, see No. 1 above.
– Make a deadline. By limiting the time it takes to create the document, it will come to completion more quickly.
– Keep it simple. The DOE Flexiplace schedule comprises both sides of an 8 ½-by-11 paper. It’s folded down to fit in a No. 10 envelope. It was created by a team member, instead of being outsourced to a graphic artist. It includes each teleworker’s department office and home office contact information, Buddy List, and departmental information like the main number and Web site.
– Update it as needed. As rules or policies change, new members join the team, or contact information changes, update the document. It should be simple enough to output on an office printer.
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