Successful telecommuting program

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Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

For the past several columns, we have been discussing the matter of flexible work arrangements that would be beneficial to the company, the employee and the commuting public in general. We have given you examples of how telecommuting could be implemented productively in Meralco and SGS Philippines. Here’s the second instalment on the affectivity of telecommuting in SGS:

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In order to successfully implement a telecommuting program for your organization, here are some guidelines and provisions on telecommuting, which SGS Philippines so generously shared, adapted from its policies and procedures, with us. Thanks to Managing Director Ariel Miranda and HR Director Michelle Garcia.

Work hours. As a general rule, given the e-employee’s nature of work, the e-work is not time- or schedule-specific, but primarily driven by productivity and quality output. The e-employee is under flexible time hours.
Leave, overtime, work on a holiday or rest day. An e-employee is expected to manage his/her own time and, therefore, overtime and work on rest days or holidays, generally does not apply. However, if necessary and required, the supervisor will initiate the request for overtime work or work during rest days or holidays. When applicable, the e-employee will lodge this in the company’s HRIS for appropriate processing.

Accessibility and connectivity. The e-employee must be fully accessible by telephone, email, instant messaging, SMS, chat services while on e-work and are expected to have the right and enough internet connectivity/speed at home to enable one to deliver productive and quality output. Access to the network will be provided through VPN or other means authorized by the company.

Office recall. The supervisor may use telephone conferencing whenever possible as an alternative to requesting attendance during meetings. However, when deemed not effective, the e-employee must not refuse to attend face-to-face job-related meetings, training sessions and conferences, as requested by supervisors. Supervisors/managers should be able to request the employee to come to the work station when required even with short notice and for certain number of days.

Travel expense. The e-employee will not be paid for time or mileage involved in travel between the e-worksite and the primary worksite at any given time, nor may the employee claim for travel expenses when telecommuting regardless of whether the e-employee is working from home or another location.

Meetings. The e-employee will not hold business visits or meetings with professional colleagues, customers, or the public at the home worksite. All face-to-face meetings must be done at the office.

Work space. The e-employee must establish and maintain a dedicated workspace at home that is quiet, clean, and safe, with adequate lighting and ventilation. The telecommuting location will be inspected periodically to ensure that e-work and safety standards are met. Notice will be given to the employee at least 24 hours in advance of the inspection, which must occur during normal working hours.

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