Five items to consider when assessing virtual work policies

Aon Hewitt data show that the number of organizations offering virtual work arrangements has increased from 35% to 45% over the past few years. Despite the few notable companies that have gone against this trend, the consulting firm doesn’t foresee the end of telework arrangements to come soon.

However, for organizations that are assessing their virtual work policies, here are five questions they should mull over.

1. To what extent does the organization’s strategy emphasize collaboration and innovation, and what tools does it have to encourage and enhance collaboration for those working virtually? How might collaboration be impacted by requiring all employees to work on-site?

2. Are formal guidelines in place to help managers and employees evaluate whether a virtual work arrangement is appropriate for the role/employee, or are arrangements offered on an ad hoc basis?

3. How does offering a virtual work program impact employee attraction, engagement and retention, especially with high-performing employees? What effect would eliminating this policy have?

4. Does the organization have managers who can successfully manage their teams, whether employees are working in or out of the office?

5. Are there tools in place to assess the effectiveness of virtual work, such as performance, engagement, retention, teamwork and cost/savings impact?