Greater flexibility to accomplish work while also meeting personal and community responsibilities is a key telework benefit for employees. For many, the reduction in time spent commuting means reduced stress and more time to devote to family and personal matters. Telework can provide a work environment that is free from normal office distractions, which can be particularly important when working on time sensitive or complex projects.
While telework schedules may offer flexibility, it is important to remember that they should be developed collaboratively between teleworkers, supervisors, and coworkers. Key points to keep in mind include:
- Arrange telework schedules to support work goal achievement
- Keep work and office coverage in mind (remember that coverage is more important than convenience)
- Flexibility on both sides is crucial
The telework agreement provides the framework for the discussion about expectations that needs to take place between the manager and employee. For both regularly recurring routine and situational (ad hoc) telework, discussion is important to ensure shared and clearly understood expectations around work schedules. The telework agreement should outline:
- the terms of the telework schedule (e.g. every Monday and Friday or telework on ad hoc basis only), and what happens if the schedule needs to be changed by the manager or employee.
- whether the hours of the telework schedule worked will be the same as in the main office or different.
- expectations for availability by phone, email, etc. (Managers and co-workers should know how to contact the teleworker during work hours.)
- a clear understanding of the procedures for schedule changes. If the teleworker is required to report to the official worksite, expectation should be clear regarding the amount of notice (if any) that should be given, and how will such notice be provided.