Beginning the discussion -
Most often, it is the employee who approaches the supervisor to consider a telecommuting arrangement. It is recommended that the employee be prepared to discuss (and have in writing to leave with the supervisor), the following key items. Doing so will demonstrate that the employee has tried to view his/her request from the point of view of the department as well as his/her own interests:
- Schedule/location requested
- Tasks that will be completed during telecommuting arrangement, tasks that would need to be reassigned
- A suggestion on how to establish deadlines
- Assessment of communications: type, frequency, timing, who
- Evaluation of impact on team dynamic, ways to create the best possible impact on the team
- Technological needs
- Analysis of how interruptions at the alternate work location will be minimized, or how the alternate work location reduces interruptions
- Recommended trial period begin and end date
- Frequency and type of feedback needed from the supervisor to help make the potential telecommuter successful
- Anything else that may be relevant to the success of the potential arrangement
Additional meetings and input – The supervisor and employee should seek input from others as needed and revise the proposal as necessary.
Complete the agreement – It’s now time for the supervisor and potential telecommuter to come to agreement on the terms and conditions that will form the basis for the telecommuting arrangement. Once that is achieved, both parties sign and date the Telecommuting Agreement and enter into the telecommuting arrangement.
Trial Period, Review and Follow-up – It is important that the supervisor and telecommuter touch base at regular intervals and at the end of the trial period to assess the effectiveness of the arrangement, and adjust terms and conditions as needed. Either party has the right to revoke the arrangement at any time. At the end of the trial period, one or both parties may decide to end the arrangement, extend the trial period with or without modifications, or move to a longer term arrangement with or without modifications. At all times, both the supervisor and employee maintain the right to end the arrangement.