Telework done right can be an important component of building and maintaining an effective and flexible workplace. This matters because data reveals that employees in effective and flexible workplaces are more likely to be highly engaged, satisfied with their jobs, and more likely to stay with their employers.
Though not all jobs are compatible with all types of telework, when used properly, telework can be a powerful tool to advance and retain the talent that employers need to stay at the forefront of their industries, and enable managers to use that talent to best effect and empower employees to stay on top of multiple priorities without letting distance be an insurmountable obstacle.
To help organizations get started, or fine-tune telework solutions that work for their needs, When Work Works developed the Workflex and Telework Guide: Everyone’s Guide to Working Anywhere that is designed to help employers and HR professionals consider when telework works for their organization and employees. It’s a three part guide-Part I focuses on telework from the perspective of an HR professional looking at how to define, justify investment in and evaluate the effectiveness of telework options at their organization. Parts II and III examine telework from the perspective of managers and employees, providing tips to make telework more effective for both and encourage a mutual reinvention of work. Since no two workplaces are exactly alike, all of the tips can and should be adjusted to match the particulars of your telework environment and workforce.
Telework in Action: Focus on NASCO
The ability to reinvent work options that allow both business and employees to thrive is what sets exemplary organizations apart. One such employer is NASCO, a When Work Works Award winning organization that has implemented telework as a business strategy to address the changing economy, changing technology, changing community infrastructure, and changing employee demographics.
Based in Atlanta, NASCO provides healthcare claims solutions to Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® Companies across the nation for national, state, large group, small group, and individual and government programs. Years ago, the leaders at NASCO determined there was a need for workflex, and in particular telework, so they implemented full-time, part-time and ad-hoc telework options for their employees. By providing robust workflex options, NASCO has been able to attract and retain individuals with the skills and knowledge that they need. A solid business framework combined with happy and healthy employees have resulted in NASCO earning local and national recognition as an employer of choice.
While NASCO has enjoyed much success from its telework programs, leaders understand that their telework offerings must continue to evolve. They continue to evaluate telework’s effectiveness and make changes as needed to ensure that what they are offering continues to serve the needs of the business and their employees. For example, in 2016 the construction of I285-GA400, a major road project in the Atlanta metro will take place. In response to this, leaders at NASCO are reviewing their telework polices to see what changes may need to be made. Barbara Bell Dees, Vice President of Human Resources & People Services for NASCO, discussed some of the potential impacts and some of the steps NASCO is taking to respond to this change.
“We recognize that our already troublesome traffic within the Atlanta metro area will only get worse. Associates will most likely see their commute times increase over the four year construction project. Obviously, this could have negative impacts on associates’ productivity and ability to have a sense of work/life fit.”
Planning and analysis are key factors for NASCO as they strategize about the best way to ensure their telework plan meets both business and employees’ needs given the upcoming project. Currently, NASCO leaders are meeting with local politicians, Georgia Department of Transportation representatives, and community service providers to understand the project plan, the communication plan, and what commute options might be available. They also plan to bring various community partners onsite who can provide information about commute options as well as individualized recommendations tailored to specific employee needs.
In addition to enlisting government and community support, they also plan to create focus groups consisting of employees at all levels across the organization to discuss options for addressing commuting challenges while maintaining high productivity and continuity of outstanding customer service, and they also plan to take advantage of the guidance and tips being offered in the Workflex and Telework Guide.
“For NASCO, having viable workflex options and keeping these options current and aligned with our business strategy, our industry, our associates feedback, and the environmental changes, is required to maintain our status as a great place to work and allows us to maintain a competitive advantage.”
NASCO is a great example of how one organization is using telework to meet business and employee needs. For inspiration about how to create and/or adapt existing telework strategies that can help your organization thrive, be sure to check out the Workflex and Telework Guide: Everyone’s Guide to Working Anywhere today!
To learn more about the When Work Works Award and to apply click HERE.
For more workflex inspiration check out 5 Companies that Get Workflex Right.
For tips on minimizing FLSA issues check out Teleworking and the Non-Exempt Worker: Four (4) Tips for Minimizing FLSA Issues.