Technology, training and communication alone are not enough for a successful, thriving telework or flexible workplace program. The policies that govern the program and the agreements with the participants are just as important as the furniture, change in culture, and high tech that allows remote work and supports mobile workers. Getting that policy right, knowing what to expect and what to plan for before situations appear is important and often crucial to a program taking root and growing.
To explore these issues and discover what kinds of policy an organization needs, we gathered a panel of industry experts and long-time field practitioners for an online webinar. The panel focused on two areas within telework and flexible workplace policy: the critical elements to include in your first set of policies and how to deal with issues that arise several years after implementing a program.
The first area of discussion provides a good starting point for organizations just beginning to plan or deploy a new program. Panelists shared their insight and experience on what should go in to policy, what should not go in, and the kind of flexibility needed to support a healthy and continuing program.
- What policies are critical to getting started with a new program?
- What should be in an initial policy? What should not?
- Who should qualify for these programs? Do those rules need to be in the policy?
- What is the key to union buy-in?
Our experts and seasoned professionals also fielded questions about policy and issues from the on-going program perspective: how do policy and needs change over time and how do you keep up?
- What challenges commonly arise after a year or so? How are they resolved?
- What is the best method for responding to new issues?
- How should local managers best support these policies?
- How do you change existing and implement new policies?