Do you remember reading about Robert Crandall, former head of American Airlines, calculating that if they removed just one olive from every salad served to passengers, nobody would notice, and the airline would save $100,000 a year? Innovative thinkers like Crandall have made telecommuting their olive. The larger the organization, the more impact that seemingly small differences can make overall.
“Failure to assert commitment-based management is the number one failure related to telecommuting and distributed work in my opinion. Commitment-based management simply captures people’s commitments to the organization, and to each other, and holds them accountable for meeting those commitments.”
Lucky for us, there is more than one way to achieve commitment-based management. These major companies have found their own unique ways of making teleworking work.
Cisco Provides Security
For many companies, security of intellectual property is a concern with BYOD and/or teleworking programs (which tend to go hand-in-hand). As of 2012, 90% of Cisco employees were regular telecommuters. That’s an incredible amount of employees successfully working outside of the office. Cisco makes this possible by offering great tech security and support for their teleworkers. Instead of inhibiting and restricting, Cisco has taken the proper measures to ensure that workers can safely work remotely while guarding the company’s treasured information.
Telecommuter.com offers some security advice for remote workers:
“A successful program leverages your existing network infrastructure, creating a seamless LAN experience extension to the users. To minimize security risks, consider one of two main VPN technology models: IP-Security (IPsec) or Secure Socket Layer (SSL).”
Netflix Encourages a Freedom and Responsibility Culture
Netflix made waves with their unlimited vacation policy, because at first it seemed ridiculous; of course employees are going to take advantage. Well that doesn’t seem to be the case and it’s because of Netflix’s “Freedom and Responsibility Culture”. They incorporate this in their hiring and management practices, and emphasize that work is what you do, not a place you go. Time off is no biggie, as long as the work gets done. That can mean teleworking or even putting in extra time, but the pay off of vacation time is well worth it.
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings said in a Bloomberg Weekly interview:
“Keeping vacation unlimited requires mature, responsible employees who care about high-quality work.”
The WSJ Uses Robots
WSJ reporter, Rachel Silverman makes telecommuting work through telepresence. She uses a robot to zoom around the WSJ newsroom and converse with co-workers from her home office in Austin, Texas. Using robots to communicate sounds like a step away from building successful relationships at work, but it has proven quite the opposite.
Cisco did some research on these telepresence bots and David Hsieh, VP of marketing for video and emerging business found that people were actually more open and honest in their conversations with the robots:
“People may just be more present with a robot, due to the novelty factor. And because the robot doesn’t have the benefit of full body language…it results in a higher level of openness.”
These innovative companies found their own style in telecommuting and so can you. We like to facilitate the money saving and environment-friendly nature of telecommuting through virtual interviewing. The right security, tools and management are what any successful telecommuting program is built on. While telepresence robots may be out of some of some budgets, tools like virtual interviewing are certainly not.
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