Tuesday, July 05, 2011

 

Telecommuting Successes: Lessons from Legal Departments

By including telecommuting as part of a flexible work program, legal employers can reduce the stigma often associated with utilizing flexible work arrangements by offering an option that is widely utilized by male and female employees, parents and non-parents alike. PAR member Accenture, which has offered telecommuting for more than ten years, reaps the benefit of including so many male employees in their flexible work arrangements program through telecommuting. Similarly, PAR member Allstate’s legal department has found that the company’s work-at-home option is the most popular flexible work option with men.

Best practice telecommuting programs are:

• Available to all employees who can conceivably work remotely (reduces backlash and stigma).
• Define “core hours” when the telecommuter is to be available.
• Provide training for supervisors.
• Provide technology and support.
• Ensure compliance with employment laws.

PAR member policies (both law firms and legal departments) highlight the importance of these best practices:

• Offer the same compensation, benefits, and promotion opportunities to telecommuters as to those not telecommuting.
• Establish a consistent schedule.
• Ensure effective accessibility.

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