of the common pitfalls that new telecommuters and their supervisors
may encounter have already been identified. Fortunately, ways to
avoid these situations have also been developed. Much of the training
for telecommuters and their supervisors addresses how to get started
correctly and how to deal with problem situations as they arise.
Following are some examples of the common pitfalls to avoid:
problem employees in the program. Unless there is a careful diagnosis
indicating that telecommuting is a specific remedy, problem employees
will remain problems in the program and can jeopardize the program
employees in the program without adequate telecommuting training
(orientation). Employees and their supervisors need to understand
the relevant policies, procedures, and other factors associated
with successful operation of telecommuting. Without such understanding,
unnecessary problems can occur which put a strain on the operation
of the program.
the programs without proper planning and preparation. Supervisors
should not begin the program until they have worked out operating
procedures, expectations, schedules, lines of communication, etc.
with both participants and non-participants. Premature start-up
places unnecessary strain on an organization which is already
trying to adjust to a new circumstance.
monitoring of employee performance (e.g., monitoring an employee's
key strokes and time on/off a computer via electronic devices,
etc.). Such monitoring has been shown to create stressful working
conditions, is the subject of proposed Congressional legislation
banning such monitoring, and is contrary to the management by
results philosophy of telecommuting.
telecommuting to inconvenience and/or unfairly burden non-participating
employees. Inadequate planning and preparation can lead to this
situation which causes both morale and job performance problems.
adequately informing co-workers regarding the telecommuter's office
schedule and/or attempting to hide the program from co-workers.
developing a clear understanding between the manager and the telecommuter
regarding work expectations.