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Your Employee Matters


By February 1, 2013No Comments

Technology keeps reducing the need for employees to come into the workplace. An interesting article in Human Resource Executive magazine spotlights Unilever’s program for co-mingling home and work activities. Unilever has taken a number of steps that you might consider as part of your telecommuting program:

  1. Create “plug and play workstations” so that telecommuters can come in and work on a project with their team or find some quiet time to themselves. These work areas have a clean desk policy — employees are expected to clean them up when they leave.
  2. Understand the difficulty of monitoring time and attendance. Although this is not an issue with exempt employees, non-exempt employees can find themselves working all hours of the day. We did a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) webinar which focused on results produced, rather than hours worked. However, this approach can create wage and hour headaches.
  3. Consider security issues. Remember that the telecommuter’s home office has become an extension of your company. You’ll need to make sure that data is secure, workplace safety and company ergonomic standards are in place, and that you have the proper insurance coverages.
  4. Provide employees with access to an environment that’s conducive to work.

The Unilever story has been a success, with about 95% support from workers. As one employee stated, “We work at home and the real reason we come to work is collaboration.”

For more information, HR That Works members should take a look at our Telecommuting report, checklist, and policy.