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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers

mod-arrow Telework Plan

This section sets out a step-by-step plan to create a Telework strategy for your business. Be sure to check the resource section of this website for links to templates, videos and other helpful tools. Specifically the national Australian Telework website has resources that while not specific to retail industry offer an excellent step-by-step process and resources.

 

Planning your Telework strategy

Workers: The outline below will be useful if you are in conversation with your current employer. If you want to begin Teleworking with a new company or as a contractor there are industry-leading websites that offer services designed specifically for Teleworkers.

Employers: The outline below can be used to create or update your Telework plan, documents and agreements.

 

TIP:

Make this an empowering, inclusive process and reward all involved as your company adopts Telework practices.

Process review

Review the current processes in your organisation to determine where Telework provides the best return on investment. What are the key drivers for your Telework plan? By reviewing the steps below you can determine the ideal process.

Employer: Many companies start with a smaller Telework trial and expand, based on results. However, proper planning, execution, program reviews and adjustments are still very relevant.

Worker: If you are currently employed and wish to switch to a level of Telework, start with current policy. If none exists at your current place of employment, consult the worker resource section of the  website here.

Program requirements

The program requirements will vary based on scope of work, Telework type (hybrid, full time, contract/outsource or temporary), and the nature of Telework being performed.

Plan elements

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Description

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Click blue links for examples, templates and resources

Proposals

Writing a proposal for a Telework plan may fall to employees, contractors OR management. Proposals should include pros and cons, goals, case studies and a draft of the following content.

Program expectations & fit

for employer and worker

It is important for employers and workers to understand the reality of how Telework can impact organisational culture and the workers state of mind. Given the right preparation and expectations, Telework can be a positive experience. However, this series of resources reviews what to expect and whether the process of Telework will be a fit.

Work Plan

Develop a work plan that outlines your expectations of deliverables, time-lines, goals, milestones and scope of work to be completed remotely. The plan should contain goals and metrics that will be used in the work policy/contracts and for Telework program review and development.

Policy

Policies cover how the work plan will be executed, managed, paid, and measured. The policy may include all of the other items in this chart. Telework may also require unique policies for coverage of hardware and software costs for tracking requirements (follow link on left).

Contracts

Similar to above “Policy” heading but taking form of a contract vs. worker agreement. Define ownership of any deliverables, hours of work and expense coverage for resources required to complete the work.

Training

Should be included in original policy for employer and worker. Who needs training? How will initial training be conducted, paid etc.  Ongoing training?

Communication

Expectation of how communications will be conducted, platforms to be used, frequency and protocols (This should also be included in any formal contract/work plan).

Hardware

Does the main office and/or headquarters have appropriate hardware devices to manage the work plan? Review all requirements and deliverables to determine what hardware is required, which may include:

Base hardware: Computer device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphones, etc.)

Audio: Headsets, speakers, phone

Visual: Computer device capacity for streaming video, webcam, video conference center (if required)

Software

Determine performance requirements of work plan and identify software to facilitate work execution. This may include but not be limited to: Online meetings, CRM (customer relations management system), VOIP, cloud storage, work monitoring. Click link on left to see list of typical applications.

Infrastructure

Quality internet connectivity is CRITICAL to successful Telework. Check for connectivity for both main office and Teleworker environment. If you need to connect to the main office system remotely you will need input from your IT department. Click here to see more on the difference connectivity speed makes.

Environment

The work environment needs to be conducive to productive work. Where will the Teleworker complete their work? Home? Another office? Shared offices are also becoming popular (see more here).

Management

Will tracking, communications and reporting systems be used?

Team/inclusion

How will the Teleworker be included in team activities? Teleworkers do not have the benefit of the same ongoing interactions as collocated team members – make sure they are included and feel part of the team.

Support networks

Workers and employers can benefit from support networks.

Create measurable goals

WHY?

Creating measurable goals is helpful to:

  1. Choose the right solution and Telework methods
  2. Deploy the solution you select
  3. Measure if the program is working effectively and if it is providing a return on investment – paying for itself and hopefully saving you time and money while improving the process.

 

HOW?

This step will be unique to your business, as well as the processes and solutions being reviewed. Suggested methodology can include:

  • Current work process: Time – deliverables/metrics – reporting – team meetings – check-in/motivators. How do any current processes need to adapt with a Telework implementation?
  • Remote work scenario: Document scenarios with Telework procedures and measure the same things. Try to relate the Telework expectations to your current process in point (1.).
  • Goals: Create measurable goals. These should be goals that can measure effectiveness of Telework activities and also achievement of business objectives, e.g. productivity, cost saving, etc.
Training

Who needs training?

All staff impacted by this change will need some form of orientation. Set new expectations and processes and perhaps even training (formal or self-directed) for those employees. Ensure that help documents and update communications are made for anyone effected. This may include letting customers know about a new login process (if you are installing new CRM), vendors, partners, etc. Go through the process documents and make sure everyone who will be effected by the new upgrade is notified. This can be as simple as an email.

Review and update: Review your platform against goals set, ask the team about its functionality and if you upgrade – upgrade everyone as needed on new functionality. Collect feedback.

 

TIP:

You are getting ready to deploy. Make sure your team is comfortable and understands this process is not set in stone. Changes to the Telework arrangements can be adjusted as needed.