This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How to Know If Your Telecommuters Are Really Working

If performance results are unclear or more difficult to define, David Lewis, president and CEO of human resources consulting firm OperationsInc recommends monitoring technology.

"There are ways to monitor up-time on their laptop and connectivity to your network. I also advise using Instant Messenger as a way to communicate. It shows when a computer is dormant or the person is away, perhaps indicating they are not working;" he says.

For companies that use Skype or an online video chat service, seeing your employee at work a few times a week can be helpful.

"Webcams can be a great way to stay in touch," he says. "You just have to make sure it's a prearranged conference and that you're not spying."

Before any business pursues a work-from-home arrangement in the long term, says Michelle Benjamin, CEO and founder of workforce solutions company Benjamin Enterprises, says that "productivity indicators" must be clearly established.


"Clear milestones for work production throughout the business day will prevent down time," she says. "These milestones should require review with discussion of the tangible output with the team leader."

Business owners must understand the end product they desire from their remote employees so that they can measure quality of output, not simply quantity of time spent, Benjamin says.

"If the agreed work is challenging, yet the milestones are clearly articulated and agreed upon, then the remote worker should be able to meet the desired work quality and expectations," she says.

Once expectations and milestones are agreed upon, says Diane Rodgers, senior human resources operations manager at CBIZ Human Capital Services, the employer has to accept that there will be some time spent on nonwork-related tasks.

"If the performance, productivity and customer satisfaction expectations are being met, does the employer care if the employee works in a load of laundry in between? It's not always apparent, even when employees are working in the office, whether they are constantly working productively.They may be intently staring at their computer screen, but what's on the computer may not be work-related," Rodgers says. "There is no fool-proof way to know whether an employee is always thinking about work every hour of the workday, regardless of where they are working."

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,677.90 +216.58 1.32%
S&P 500 1,950.82 +23.71 1.23%
NASDAQ 4,452.7920 +69.9450 1.60%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs