Whether your company is looking to establish a new telework program or ﬁnd new ways to improve or adapt programming since the pandemic created a shift in the way the Triangle works, we have information for management and for employees to have a productive workday even outside of the office.
The best commute is no commute, even if it's not every day.
We want to help you make the case for creating a telework policy in your workplace. Employees can telework part time, full time, just occasionally or only during emergency conditions. Whether you’re an employer considering a telework option or an employee hoping to have the option, we’ve got resources to get you started.
Did you miss the Telework in the Triangle Webinar?
If you intrigued by telework as a work option, but don’t know how to navigate the initial steps to begin developing a program, check out our one hour webinar that will answer the basics of navigating telework program planning.
This introductory webinar is for those who are intrigued by telework as a work option, but don’t know how to navigate the initial steps to begin developing a program. This free, one hour webinar answers the basics of navigating telework program planning and provides an overview of a free North Carolina resource. (2019)
This introductory webinar is for those who are intrigued by telework as a work option, but don’t know how to navigate the initial steps to begin developing a program. This free, one hour webinar answers the basics of navigating telework program planning and provides an overview of a free North Carolina resource. (2020)
Join us for a discussion with Annie Schmidt, Director of the Wake National Alliance on Mental Illness. We will discuss the psychological distress caused by the pandemic and its impact. As we continue to work from home by the masses and depend on essential worker, let’s get a basic understanding of how to support coworkers and promote a mentally healthy work environment. (March 2021)
This discussion with Dr. John Staley explores the basics of infection prevention and control in the workplace. Also included are considerations for businesses as they plan to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how employees can prepare to protect themselves and their families upon returning to the worksite. (December 2020)
Many workers who transitioned temporarily to full time teleworking because of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t have designated office spaces at home and, six months in, their bodies and productivity are suffering. Maybe the chair is too low or the table too high or the lamp is just too far away. They’ve tried every imaginable position in every conceivable spot in their homes, and they still end every work day with a new ache or pain. (October 2020)
Keep your company and personal data safe while working remotely. View this open discussion with the Town of Chapel Hill’s Chief Information Security Officer and IT management consultant, Robert Reynolds. Determine your level of risk, learn what to ask your IT Department and the next steps to a more secure online environment. Listen in on questions from other employers, employees, and IT staff as part of the discussion. (July 2020)
Resources, Tips & Guides
These tools can help you determine the best fit for telework within your organization, and they are a good reference for identifying opportunities to guide successful evolution as circumstances and company culture evolve.
Strategies for Teleworking Parents with Students in Remote Learning In addition to learning how to turn their homes into offices, working parents and guardians are also learning how to turn their homes into virtual classrooms as school buildings remain closed. We asked teachers, parents and other experts for advice on how to juggle being a productive employee, a good parent, and have an engaged student. These are the recommendations we received from teachers, parents, teachers who are also parents, and other subject matter experts.
Ergonomics for the Home Office or Company HQ The Ergonomics Center at NC State University has a quick checklist and provides free tools, guides and handouts anyone can reference when setting up an office to prevent aches and reduce eye strain that can make working a pain in the neck.
Safety Checklist for the Home Office From fire safety to cyber security, employees should maintain a safe home office. See the Federal Office of Personnel’s Safety Checklist and encourage employees and managers to discuss any concerns or necessary alternatives.
Sample Policies download GoTriangle’s Employee Best Practices & Employee Telework Agreement or visit NCTelework.org to find sample telework policies from public and private employers, case studies and more.
What is telework?
Telework is a work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work, during any part of regular, paid hours, at an approved alternative worksite (e.g., home, telework center). It is an important tool for achieving a resilient and results-oriented workforce. At its core, telework is people doing their work at locations different from where they would normally be doing it. (Source)
Is telework right for me?
Teleworking might be a great fit if you have the right type of work-style and work in the right type of position. To see if you are a good candidate for teleworking, start by evaluating yourself and your current job description to see if your personality and position are a good match for teleworking. Employees that are most successful in telework programs are usually:
- Social: Employees that tend to talk with coworkers in the office can get more work done when in a less distracting, uninterrupted environment.
- Well trained: Employees need to be confident in the ability to complete assigned duties and projects.
- Work independently: Employees that manage their time and work plan well in an office setting can usually do the same in a home or remote office.
Want some reassurance about telework's suitability for your situation? Click here to use the Telework Eligibility Gizmo.
I know it will work. Help me make the case to my employer.
Offering a telework option can help your employer by attracting top talent, saving money, improving productivity, and more, but remember, if your company doesn't already offer this benefit, it means creating more work for your supervisor as they develop the policy. Treat your plan as you would any other business proposal and make sure you've done your homework.
When drafting your plan, keep these things in mind: (Source)
- A schedule: Determine which days of the week you would like to telework. Take a few weeks to track your appointments out of the office and determine the most convenient day for your company for you to be physically “out of the office."
- An equipment and workspace agreement: Will you provide your own equipment at home? Will you commit to dedicating a room or space apart from the rest of your home as an official workspace? Who will pay for your internet connection and software?
- Accessibility: How do you propose to be accessible to your boss and coworkers during work hours when you aren’t physically present? Can you be reached by cell phone? Will you use an instant messaging service to communicate with coworkers? Is email an effective tool for your situation?
- Connectivity: How will you be connected to the office while teleworking? Will you share files between your home computer and your office? Do you have access to your company’s LAN (local area network) at home? If not, can you get it? Will you transfer files via email or on disk?
- Work Description: Tell your boss what kinds of work you expect to be able to do while teleworking at home. Will you save your writing projects for telework days? Do you have projects that require concentration for long periods? How will you keep yourself busy and productive while you are teleworking?
- Dependent Care: If you have children or seniors you care for, most telework experts advise against using telework as a substitute for any type of dependent care. Let your employer know what care arrangements you will have on your teleworking days.
- Reporting: Tell your boss how you propose to be accountable for the work you do on your teleworking days. Offer to create a weekly log outlining tasks you expect to complete on your day or days away from the office. At the end of your telework day, record on the log what you were able to complete and other tasks you did during the day.
Free Telework Program Development Training & Breakfast
We had a successful telework training and panel discussion! Click here to see the presentation.
Read more about national telework resources and case studies of programs, strategies and guidelines for evaluating if telework is right for your organization:
- Established Telework Program Guidelines: Washington State DOT Telework Handbook - See how Washington State DOT manages their well-established telework program with their handbook and telework program resources.
- Case Study of Call Center Telework - Hartford Insurance - Hartford Insurance has established a successful telework program for their call center staff.
- List of Top 10 Telecommuting Companies in 2017 - These companies embrace telework and share how both employer and employee benefit from a formal telework program.
- 5 Steps to Successfully Creating a Telework Program - Basic steps to creating a telework program for your organization.
- SHRM's Guide for Telework Savings and Reasons some Companies Rescind Telework Policy - From a Human Resource perspective, SHRM shares data on telework savings and benefits for employers and tradeoffs for bringing employees back into the office.
Alternative Work Schedules
Alternative work schedules (also known as variable work hours) include flextime or compressed work weeks. Flextime is when employees work specified hours each week, but are given flexibility on when they arrive to work, take lunch and leave work. Compressed work weeks are when employees work more hours than typical but work fewer days per week or pay period.
By driving during off-peak times, you can avoid sitting in traffic, and emitting vehicle pollution from idling and get to work a whole lot faster. Some example schedules include:
- Work 40 hours over four days instead of the usual five, or work 80 hours in two weeks but only work nine out of 10 days.
- Set a new schedule to avoid the 7-9 morning rush and the 5-7 evening rush. Maybe try a 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule a couple days a week.