Developing a Telework Program

Setting Up a Telework Program

A successful telework program can improve organizational efficiency, raise the quality and quantity of work, boost employee morale and job satisfaction, and lower your employee turnover rate. In addition, the enhanced communication that a telework program fosters can further develop your own skills as a manager.

The process for setting up a telework program can be as simple as:

  • Developing a written policy and employee agreement
  • Announcing the program to staff
  • Selecting and training participants
  • Providing necessary equipment and secure remote access capabilities
  • Implementing the program

Organizations often start with a small-scale pilot program, which they later expand after gaining experience through the pilot. It's also helpful to have a designated telework "coordinator" to oversee the process and work with other key individuals within the organization, such as information technology personnel, human resources personnel and the facilities management staff.

Large-scale programs include a major commitment to planning and implementing. The involvement of the IT Department is extremely important. A telework program sometimes requires continued investments of money and staff, but these costs are quickly recovered in other savings (i.e., parking, improved efficiency, reduced retention/recruitment costs). In some cases, the Return on Investment (ROI) can be has high as 200% to 1,500% after three years.

Telework Setup Kit

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Cost of Establishing the Program

The cost of establishing and administering the program depends on several factors:

  • Size of company and number of teleworkers
  • Type of information technology used
  • Goals of program

Cost of setting up a teleworker

The costs can vary depending on what is provided to the employee, but are usually less than $1,500 per person. This includes equipping a teleworker with a laptop, providing secure remote access and telephone communication capability, such as a cell phone, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone, or a second-phone line. In particular, VoIP can significantly reduce long-distance charges, especially for international calls.
Generally, organizations do not provide furniture for the teleworker's home office unless the employee is relinquishing office space.
(Source: Telework Coalition, 2006 Telework Benchmarking Study)