Human beings have a tendency to pay more attention to what’s in their vicinity rather than what’s outside their field of view. This natural tendency might make you unintentionally neglectful the needs of telecommuters who work at home and don’t often work with the teams in the offices of your company.
Your telecommuters clock in just like everyone else, except that they do it from the comfort of their homes. Although their physical presence in the office environment is absent, making them feel rather shifted aside, they are true members of the “Team”. You might actually have some telecommuters you’d give a “rockstar” trophy to, yet it might be rather difficult to notice them when they’re not around and, consequently, for them to understand how truly valuable they are to your operation.
That’s why we now have ‘Telecommuter Appreciation Week’ (going from February 26 until March 3). Staples came up with a survey to let businesses know what they should do to let their telecommuters know that they’re happy with the work they’re putting in and here are some of the suggestions:
- Give him/her a new seating arrangement – Staples says that 44 percent of telecommuters rate their chair with a “C” rating. That usually means that, while they succeed in sitting on it, it does nothing more than provide an elevated surface to put their tushes on top of. People working at home need comfortable seating just like anyone else to work effectively. Giving that special person who makes the extra effort a new and comfortable chair shows him/her that you cherish that person.
- Arrange for tighter communication – The amount of telecommuters using email to communicate is 96 percent. Getting closer to your telecommuters using unified communications or instant messaging makes them feel like part of the team and engages them. This engagement can bear some positive effects on their work.
- Back up their data – About one third of telecommuters do not back up their data, making them vulnerable to catastrophes when their computers fail. Establish a way for them to be able to back up their data on a physical or online medium and you’ll keep them happy.
- Train them in corporate security policies – While most telecommuters (95 percent) are acquainted with security in one way or another, they might not be fully oriented in what your company wants them to do. Teaching your home office crew what your company does to ensure data security will help them be a part of your security plan without making you responsible for damage control when things go south.
That said, you must not forget that the team working from home should take as much priority as the one working at the office . After all, they, too, are working to keep your business together. If you help by making their workplaces more tidy and establish a tighter bond, you’ll reap the benefits in the results you get!