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Telecommuting: Can you hear me now?

by The NonProfit Times - October 18, 2013

Being stuck in traffic jams that frazzle the nerves and waste (increasingly expensive) gasoline can be a huge incentive to make the move to telecommuting.

Virtual offices have worked for some organizations, leaving the managers of others wondering if they too could make the switch. On the other hand, telecommuting has not been a total success across the board, especially if managers are skeptical of or hostile to the whole idea.

Speaking during the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) 49th International Conference on Fundraising, Jill Dotts of the American Heart Association pointed out that there are certain employees who are good matches for telecommuting. Those employees fall into the following types:

  • Top performers
  • Results focused
  • Strong communicators
  • Disciplined
  • Self directed, self driven
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Proficient in high technology
  • Administration proficient
  • Possessing a sense of urgency.

So, is an organization ready to take the leap? Dotts suggested doing the following before thinking about becoming a virtual office:

  • Prepare a return on investment (ROI) analysis and baselines.
  • Shore up infrastructure.
  • Establish a program and standards.
  • Align performance objectives.
  • Prepare for changes in implications for management and for the organizational culture.
  • Restructure communications.

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