Telecommuting to make it work, how do you go about it?

With the confinement of last spring, teleworking has seen an acceleration in its practice in companies. Indeed, the global pandemic linked to covid-19 has plunged all companies that can to telework. If during the first containment, it was put in place as a matter of urgency, during the second, companies were relatively well prepared. Nevertheless, teleworking is not easy to set up and requires rigor as well as a very specific framework, both on the employer side and on the employee side. How do you really go about operating optimally? Everything about a very specific way of working!

Set common and clear rules

Teleworking is an alternative working method that encompasses any mission that can be carried out on the employer’s premises but carried out by an employee in another place thanks to the use of new technologies. It is a method of work organization that requires careful thought before being implemented. The activity of the company and the characteristics of its workforce are essential elements in its implementation.

Please note: teleworking is not a question of improvisation within a team!

Before setting it up, it is essential to know the advantages as well as the disadvantages. Indeed, it is not without consequences because it disrupts the functioning of the company. Precise rules must be set to limit abuse.

The first step is to define the rules of the game that employees will have to follow. The definition of each person’s missions is essential within a team as well as the setting of daily objectives. The company must also think about its organization and its control.

The second step is to consult with the collaborators to define a rhythm and to set an alternation between the days spent at the office and at a distance. It is also necessary to define the working hours, the workload as well as the time slots during which the employees must remain reachable.

Finally, it is important not to neglect the issue of compensation for expenses incurred for the needs of their missions as well as the material conditions: chair, computer, etc.

All of these rules must be written down in a document and brought to the attention of the staff. Ideally, the establishment of a unilateral decision in the form of a charter seems to be the best solution.

In general, well-organized teleworking makes it possible to anticipate and avoid psycho-social risks. Well supervised, it is a real booster for team spirit and efficiency at work!

Please note: teleworking cannot be applied to all sectors of activity!

Choosing the right communication

One of the main difficulties recently encountered by teleworking teams is the implementation of a new effective mode of communication. Collaboration and communication cannot be improvised and the quality of communication contributes in large part to the productivity of teams. For this, it is necessary to:

  • Practice active listening;
  • Reformulate if necessary

This helps prevent misinterpretation of emails or chats and can thus avoid any misunderstanding in this period of social and professional distancing. Fortunately at the 21 th century, there is a whole series of means of communication at our disposal to maintain the links and ensure the continuation of the activity of the company. Making daily appointments to guide the working days is necessary. This makes it possible to take stock of the tasks in progress and also to take news from colleagues.

Note it: teleworking implies the continuation of human relations!

In addition, from the outset defining the means of communication to be used in each situation is essential. Under what circumstances should you use email, chat or face-to-face meetings. But also, the organization of time for collective and individual exchanges is necessary.

Instructions and intentions should also be clearly expressed and no room for interpretation. You also need to be careful with the tone of emails.

Generally speaking, we know that what weighs most on teleworkers is social isolation and the choice of “good communication” is essential to fight against this feeling.

Manager on confidence and autonomy

Management based on trust and autonomy enables good results to be obtained. Indeed, autonomy, trust and responsibility are the three pillars of a culture of effective collaboration and must be accompanied by special measures for teleworking employees. This is essential to operate remotely!

Also, it is advisable to follow its collaborators without coping them and the measurement of the working time should not be the only indicator to take into account. A manager must be able to follow individual objectives but also measure the commitment of his team without tracking them down. We thus speak of “responsible management”! Telecommuting is a matter of trust!

Note it: in teleworking, performance can be difficult to assess!

We also talk about trust, but for teleworking to work, it must be one-to-one. A manager who does not have the confidence of his teams does not go far either. The same goes for employees. Without visual control, you have to trust yourself and focus on the result.

Note that the company cannot establish trust but create conditions that will ensure that this trust takes place!

Finally, there has to be a tuning up front between trust and control and trust does not exclude control as long as there is no excess! The HR function is also present to support managers.

See each other more often and plan moments of discussion

When working remotely, setting up informal moments is useful and contributes to the well-being and performance of employees. It is clearly essential to maintain links within a fragmented team!

In a context of crisis such as that linked to covid-19, distance communication requires regular exchanges and the organization of meeting times is imperative. We must provide moments of discussion as if we were at the office. Some managers offer their teams coffee breaks or lunches by videoconference and a recent survey has shown that good relationships are among the essential criteria! In addition to that, there are many tools to set up regular appointments.

Some companies have also maintained videoconferencing rituals such as lunch breaks or afterwork! Messages of sympathy should be the rule!

However, be careful, while it is important to nurture conviviality during teleworking periods, this should not be compulsory. We must not impose constraints on employees.

Finding the right work-life balance

It is not easy to maintain the balance between professional and personal life in normal times, so with teleworking, it is even more complicated! Today, even if 100% teleworking has many advantages such as reducing transport times, stress or even improving concentration, the difficulty of finishing your work day to devote yourself to your personal life is very real.

First of all, you have to avoid running behind overtime. This allows you not to spill over into your private life. Also, just because the home has turned into an office doesn’t mean you have to be reachable all the time. It is imperative to keep fixed working hours. Telecommuting does not mean working more! Conversely, you must not procrastinate, find your organization and above all respect it!

Secondly, it is important to find extra-professional activities: artistic or sporting and materialize them in your agenda, this pushes you to stop working and above all to set yourself a framework.

Finally, it should be remembered that there is more than work in life! The main objective is to balance his responsibilities related to work and those related to his personal life.

Finally, some employees realize that teleworking is not for them. Indeed, it is necessary to be organized, to work with particular methods and especially not to be afraid to use different tools. At the beginning, this can be disturbing but it is necessary to validate from the start with his team the operating mode and the communication channels for the teleworking to be effective!

It should be noted that during this epidemic crisis, the companies which have adapted best to teleworking are those which had previously defined the modalities, but also those which had already tested this practice and used online management tools. Another issue can also be raised, that of knowing how to preserve creativity and inventiveness at a distance within a dispersed team.

If you need advice, on a new work organization to rethink , feel free to Contact us .

Our HRD in timeshare will be happy to advise you and assist you in the implementation.

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