According to Aon Hewitt, virtual work programs are most successful when employers set appropriate expectations, foster communication between managers and employees, and measure performance to ensure effectiveness. They should support the needs of employees, yet drive results and support the organizationís overall business goals.
Here are five questions employers should consider when evaluating their virtual work programs:
1. To what extent does the organizationís strategy emphasize collaboration and innovation, and what tools does it have to encourage and enhance collaboration for those working virtually? How might collaboration be impacted by requiring all employees to work on-site?
2. Are formal guidelines in place to help managers and employees evaluate whether a virtual work arrangement is appropriate for the role/employee, or are arrangements offered on an ad hoc basis?
3. How does offering a virtual work program impact employee attraction, engagement and retention, especially with high-performing employees? What effect would eliminating this policy have?
4. Does the organization have managers who can successfully manage their teams, whether employees are working in or out of the office?
5. Are there tools in place to assess the effectiveness of virtual work, such as performance, engagement, retention, teamwork, and cost/savings impact?
Source: Banning work from home programs not one-size-fits-all, says Aon Hewitt, March 19, 2013; Aon Hewitt, 4 Overlook Point, Lincolnshire, IL 60069; telephone: 847-295-5000.