By Barbara Myers Ford
Employers are facing increased pressure to accommodate employees by allowing telecommuting, which Laura Skoff of Team Dynamics emphasizes is an essential factor for retaining qualified staff. It is a matter of moving “from bricks to clicks” to create virtual operations. She explained this is important because it:
- Increases productivity
- Responds to staff realities
- Allows you to be a good employer
- Increases staff loyalty
- Improves the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of each teleworker whose commute is not contributing to the day’s emissions output.
Ken Heideman at the American Meteorological Society cautions that not all employees make good teleworking candidates. Star teleworkers exhibit the following characteristics:
- Being organized with excellent time-management skills
- Strong communications skills
- Needing limited supervision
- Fully trained
- Comfort with technology
- Ability work alone
- Ability to establish work/home-life boundaries
- Having a distraction–free work environments
He also spoke frankly that assessing how well someone will perform at the time of their interview is difficult, noting that you usually “hire” star employees AFTER you hire them by recognizing them with promotions.
During her 35+ year career, Barbara M. Ford worked for societies and consulting companies before establishing Meyers Consulting Services (MCS), specializing in society management and scholarly publishing. Since starting MCS, Barbara’s work with commercial and non-profit publishers (as well as organizations in allied industries) ranges from a day of advice to months or years of service as adjunct staff in senior positions.
A co-founder of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and a past president of the Council of Science Editors, she has devoted considerable time to all the organizations serving the association community. Her most recent contributions are as adjunct faculty in the Masters in Publishing Program, George Washington University. More information can be found at www.bmeyersconsulting.com.