Should you follow the Yahoo telecommute policy? — Washington Technology

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    Should you follow the Yahoo telecommute policy?
    Telecommuting is all about work-life balance, higher productivity

    <ul>By Shirl L. Jenkins</li><li>Mar 20, 2013</li></ul>

When Marisa Mayers, Yahoo’s CEO, declared that telecommuting is ‘dead,’ and that it’s time to ‘get employees back to Yahoo’s campus’, she sparked quite the national debate amongst human resources professionals and CEOs about the values and benefits of telecommuting.

In the age of cloud computing, broadband, and bring your own device supporting the government in the Washington region, where both the federal government and support contractors deal with the daily commute and the everlasting struggle to find a work-life balance, as they come to a halt on (pick your stoppage point on Rt. 66, I-295, I-395, or I-495), Yahoo’s CEO’s words fall short of addressing the core reasons of why telecommuting is a great tool for human capital and workforce development.

If your organization is considering a policy change, here are three key strategic considerations that every government technology contractor should be asking and evaluating.

1. Is telecommuting right for your government contracting setup?

Allowing employees to telework, whether on a routine schedule or episodic basis, leads to greater productivity, and a more engaged employee. Teleworking has many advantages to the employee, as well as to the company values. Benefits can include reducing travel time and the stress of commuting, and it provides great flexibility for employees to balance personal and professional responsibilities. As a result of our telework program, we make an impact on our clients, employees, organization, and our community.

At Intellidyne, our mission is to enable our clients to experience above and beyond service. By enabling our staff to telework, we can provide mission-critical service at any time from any location. By leveraging technology outside of the office, we can provide immediate response with the same quality service that clients enjoy from in-office staff. Our workplace flexibility program creates the greatest impact because it improves employees’ overall health and well-being.

By providing the flexibility and work-life balance, they are able to meet their personal responsibilities and family obligations, as well as pursue their professional and educational goals. In addition, teleworkers will experience a financial savings associated with a reduction in cost for commuting, dry-cleaning, and clothing. In our 2012 employee survey, 90 percent of employees indicated that they are able to satisfy their responsibilities both at home and work, and 91 percent of our employees indicated that IntelliDyne allows them to have work life balance.

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            Reader Comments

                            Thu, Mar 21, 2013

                                T. Bell 

                            Great article, Mrs. Jenkins! I couldn't imagine revoking our corporate decision to implement and stand behind our telecommuting policy.  In part, the feedback came directly from our staff via employee satisfaction surveys; their voice was heard and meaningful work is still being accomplished.  With the right metrics in place, an employee's 'remote' contributions are measurable if that's an overall concern for employers.  As with any opportunity for improvement, they should be handled directly versus penalizing the masses for the infractions of a few.

Hooray to Ms. Jenkins and IntelliDyne for recognizing the importance of providing flexibility and work-life balance opportunities!

                            Thu, Mar 21, 2013

                                Joe S 

                            As the leader of a small creative group in his early 30s that supports business development and marketing, telecommuting is a huge obstacle to the creative process. You can point to many historically great ideas and they were formed in a collaborative environment when people got together to bounce ideas off each other. This usually happens when people spit ball when around the water cooler, in the hallway, etc. This why think tanks emerged - accomplishing great things over distance simple does not work, no matter the tech.

Also, I’m not sure how you measure productivity but i assure you, having witnessed it first hand from peers who have that option, very few people are putting the 8-10 hour days at home. The response is , “well, i get my work done.” but in an age when you need to get 1.5 times of the effort out of people, that is not enough.

                            Thu, Mar 21, 2013

                                    fairfax va

                            With so many varying work atmosphere's, one size will never fir all. But "work at homers" seem more happy than , those of us who slog it out in the corporate enviornment. 

                            Thu, Mar 21, 2013

                                Bowman Olds 
                                    McLean, VA

                            The term telecommute is a misnomer. As some managers are quick to point out "I don't care about your commute. It’s your work I'm concerned about." And so the term Teleworking is more appropriate. When you look at the top three obstacles to Teleworking, it comes down to managers (41.9%), nature of the work (38.7%), followed by technology, funding, security, etc. For every negative notion against Teleworking, there is an easy fix. And in the end no matter what our view, it is important that workers at a minimum be "Telework Capable" which means that should the need (manmade or natural disasters) arise that they have to work from somewhere else, they must be capable of putting in a profitable 8-hour day to ensure their own business continuity.

                            Thu, Mar 21, 2013

                                Sam Herandez 
                                    Mclean, VA

                            Intellidyne seems to understand what it takes to hire younger IT talent. I wish other IT contractors will be this progressive. BYOD is the future for all smart employers. 

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