What is Telework

What is Telework

Telework means working at any alternative location other than your central worksite. A telework program gives selected employees and managers the option of working off-site on a full-time, part-time, or even temporary basis. Staff may choose to work from home offices, telework centers, or satellite offices. How formal or informal your telework arrangement is depends on your company and employee needs. Some teleworking arrangements require nothing more than a phone line, while others involve a full home office setup. How simple your telework arrangement is depends on your company's business needs.

Working at home in the evening, on weekends, or over the holidays is generally not considered teleworking. Being self-employed and working from a home office is not considered teleworking, either.

Benefits of having a telework program

A telework program can benefit the employer in a variety of ways including:

  • Enhanced recruitment/retention
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Increased employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Continued operations in the event of a natural disaster or man-made emergency

How telework programs aid in a company's productivity and competitiveness

From a productivity standpoint, teleworkers report time-and-time again that they get more work done when working outside the office due to fewer interruptions.

In terms of organizational competitiveness, many employers report that teleworking has enabled them to attract and retain skilled employees because it provides the workplace with the flexibility they are seeking. In some cases, employers have been able to expand their geographic reach by hiring employees who live in other parts of the country without the need for relocation.

Types of jobs suitable for teleworking

Most information-based jobs are appropriate for teleworking. Teleworking is ideal for jobs that require reading, writing, research, working with data and talking on the phone. Many jobs that may not seem appropriate at first, may be modified so that the worker does the work most amenable to teleworking at home, one or two days a week. One of the secrets of designing a good telework program lies in the ability to organize specific jobs so that they can be done without constant interaction or need for feedback. Such delineation of tasks also increases productivity because it makes use of the advantages of home and other work environments to achieve peak performance.

About Telework!VA

Telework!VA is your one-stop resource for businesses, agencies and employees looking to learn more about telework or how to implement a successful telework program.

The Telework!VA program was launched by the Department of Rail and Public Transportation to help reduce the number of commuters on Virginia's roadways. More importantly, Telework!VA helps companies attract and retain productive employees, reduce employee absenteeism, and lower operational and recruitment expenses – all through teleworking. Regardless of the size of your business, teleworking can benefit business owners, employees and the environment.

Virginia companies seeking guidance on how to design a telework program will find all of the tools they need here. Included within this site are step-by-step instructions on how to implement E-Learning Tools, as well as success stories from companies with proven, successful strategies for planning and managing a telework program. Other insights include training and managing methods, helpful resources and tips on how to sell your program to upper management and staff.

The key to your telework program's success is planning, communication and trust. With that in mind, let's get started.