Overview: Telecommuting (also called flexiplace, telework, working from home and flexible working) aids in retaining employees and engenders positive employee relations. Employers may offer telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. In addition, telecommuting can be a valuable tool in retaining workers with caregiving responsibilities.
Telecommuting options allow employers to ensure business continuity when faced with a natural disaster or other business interruptions. In addition, telecommuting can be viewed as a valuable recruitment tool for hard-to-fill positions.
However, telecommuting can pose management challenges for supervisors seeking to comply with health and safety regulations in remote locations. In addition, fines and penalties await an employer that misclassifies a telecommuter or that fails to accurately record and pay any hours worked.
Trends: Telecommuting agreements continue to evolve. Employers should ensure their internal telecommuting policies and procedures offer optimal protections against regulatory hurdles, while promoting compliance with work rules regarding time theft and other abuses.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
Enhanced with additional details and resources.
This How To details the steps a prudent employer should take when managing telecommuters.
An employer may use this form to create an agreement between the employer and an employee who has been granted telecommuting privileges.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices for managing telecommuters, including enforcing telecommuting policies, monitoring telecommuters and evaluating telecommuting requests.
An employer may use this policy to ensure employees understand under what circumstances telecommuting might be an option, and the parameters for such an arrangement. A Telecommuting Policy can reduce overhead expenses, improve employee productivity and increase available employee work time.
This section of the XpertHR best practice manual discusses the importance of flexible working, the issues involved in drawing up an organizational policy and the main types of flexible working.
Employment glossary definition of Alternative Worksite.
Employment glossary definition of Hot-Desking.
Employment glossary definition of Hoteling.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of telecommuting.