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According to those who have already developed and implemented successful telework programs, training is one of the most critical components.  Instituting a cultural work shift within an organization requires a workforce ready to embrace change and a management team dedicated to making it work. This requires an implementation plan, defined expectations for both employee and supervisor and comprehensive training to help achieve the program goals and ensure execution. Keep in mind that the successful telework program is contingent upon the relationship between the employee and their manager, not the employee and the company.

 For Managers:  If there is one well documented tipping point between the realization and failure of a remote worker program, it lies squarely with mid management. In direct contrast to the attendance based metrics common with many mid managers, results have to become performance driven. (Quality vs Quantity.)  Many in this role find it difficult to feel in control of a staff that is not “visible” on a day to day basis. For managers, they must improve performance while maintaining highly effective interaction, collaboration and teamwork. A well structured training program will show them the benefits of a telework program and how it positively impacts both the personal and corporate bottom line. It should also help them establish new benchmarks for performance reviews and hone their ability to find the right people. Their training should modules include:

  • Communication teams, tactics and tools
  • Understanding and determining criteria of “who’s right for the job”
  • Metrics, expectations and evaluations
  • Anticipation and resolution of issues guidelines

For Teleworkers:  The challenges faced by the employee who leaves the office environment require a more detailed training effort. This person has to deal with staying visible and connected, while managing time, performance, workload and family. Also should be addressed is how, when and where they interface with customers, co-workers and management as well as family, friends and neighbors.

  • Training issues to consider are:
  • Communication methods and tools
  • Expectations and priorities: tasks, responsiveness, meetings and schedules
  • Performance metrics
  • The remote office: design and set-up
  • Establishing a “buddy system” and a remote worker community
  • Security Issues
  • Supplies, stipends and expenses
  • Using the teleworker support services
  • Resolving issues and challenges

For more information about training visit or our Remote Work Partner page.