I wrote recently about hoteling, the concept of having fewer desks than staff reflecting the reality that not all staff are in the office all the time and being space efficient. Most research administration offices are not filled with consultants who spend their days traveling, so hoteling may seem largely irrelevant in our field. However, telework opens up the possibility for many staff, including roles common in research administration, to not be in the office every day. The key benefits of telework include attracting and retaining qualified workers and helping employees perform at their best. However, telework programs – whether for one person or a large staff – require careful planning and commitment from all involved.
The US Government provides some good (and free!) resources for managers, program coordinators and staff to recognize the benefits of teleworking and to design and manage telework programs. These resources are available at telework.gov. For example, an online learning program for managers covers the essentials of telework, and the skills and processes involved. This course is available in SCORM format for download and inclusion in local learning management system if desired. The focus of this program, however, is on the US federal government telework program, which is mandated by Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.