Jeremy Tauri: Telework flexibility gaining popularity

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Some people do really well when they're on their own, but others like to be able to bounce ideas off a colleague.
Some people do really well when they're on their own, but others like to be able to bounce ideas off a colleague.

Skilled workers are becoming a scarce commodity. If you're a manager or business owner open to teleworking - otherwise known as remote working or working from home - you could add staff to your team more easily.

An AUT survey found that telework promotes improved productivity and satisfaction with work - those who worked outside the office a few days a week did better than those who just do occasional remote working.

Our business has had this as an option.

We owners first adapted it to review files from home because of the amount of work we had to complete.

We loosely offered it as an option for team members who wanted slightly flexible or extra working hours without having to be in the office.

This is ad hoc teleworking - it was there if they needed to use it. And they did, they were happy it was available and became more productive as a result.

For some of our staff it appeared that the isolation factor of telework meant slower decision-making.

Some people do really well when they're on their own, but others like to be able to bounce ideas off a colleague.

One thing is clear: micromanagement won't work with teleworking -- autonomy is the key, so you need to be sure you have capable staff you can trust.

As the years go by, we have found further uses for teleworking.

We're flexible enough to recruit staff without having them present in the office full time and are able to accommodate staff that need to be at home with kids for several hours a week.

Hybrid teleworking, where some work is done in the office and some is done at home, is part of our growth strategy. We are looking at how full-time office staff can make use of teleworking a couple of days a week.

Some are keen to try it and others prefer to have set hours in the office.

I know I can get more done with a day at home than I can sometimes do in the office.

At home there's fewer distractions, fewer drop-ins and less noise, a calming cat and my favourite cupboard full of goodies.

If you haven't thought about teleworking in your business it's worth a try - you may be surprised at how beneficial it is for everyone.

Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.

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