I'd like to offer my staff a telecommuting option to offset gas prices? What are some top practices?

There are many benefits to a telecommuting program, and staff retention and morale are high on the list, particularly at a time when an increasingly expensive commute might impact both.

There are many benefits to a telecommuting program, and staff retention and morale are high on the list, particularly at a time when an increasingly expensive commute might impact both. As you work through the potential of a telecommuting program, there are a couple best practices to consider.

It's important to assess who makes sense from an eligibility perspective. As PR pros, our jobs are highly touch- and learning- intensive. It might not make sense for new team members to telecommute until they meet certain learning and performance milestones. At our firm, for example, staffers earn one day a week after one year.

Communication while telecommuting cannot be underemphasized on two major fronts - client and internal team interaction. From weekly meetings to brainstorming and mentoring sessions, your clients and internal teams are likely in a comfortable pattern of exchange. It's important to assess what is going to work to emulate that environment remotely.

Other considerations include tech requirements and documenting policy. In my experience, it's worth the time investment if you see a benefit in it for your team.

Lisa Throckmorton is EVP at SpeakerBox Communications.

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