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The Road to Telecommuting

By Karol Rose

As gas prices hit record highs and worries rise about the prospect of $5 a gallon gas, companies can expect to face increased pressure to consider telecommuting. But before moving forward, both individuals and companies should take care to avoid the following telecommuting mistakes.

The Five Biggest Telecommuting Mistakes Individuals Make:

1. Don't set boundaries for themselves regarding work and personal responsibilities

2. Don't find ways to stay physically connected to the workplace and colleagues

3. Think they can work the same way remotely as they did in the office

4. Underestimate the need to communicate frequently with boss regarding what's working/not working so can be proactive

5. Don't do enough problem solving regarding 'what if' scenarios before they begin telecommuting

The Five Biggest Telecommuting Mistakes Companies Make:

1. Think it's not already happening

2. Think it's harder than it is

3. Assume if I can't see you, you must not be working

4. Think it's all or nothing; fail to understand telecommuting may require a blend of off-site and in-office face time

5. View telecommuting only as an employee benefit; fail to see how telecommuting can benefit the business by meeting customer needs (i.e. across time zones) or save the company real estate and other overhead costs

Done right with proper planning and processes, telecommuting can do more than ease pain at the pump.  Avoid road bumps by using telecommuting as a strategic route to long-term benefits instead of a short-term detour."

Karol Rose is the Chief Marketing Officer of FlexPaths is a Web-based provider of workplace flexibility solutions with corporate and consumer web portals that provide 100 on-line resources to support both corporate and consumer workplace flexibility needs including several dedicated to telecommuting issues.

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