Jet Blue’s got the right idea. All of their reservation agents work from home. They have created an entire webwork of telecommuters by using a computer network that feeds and monitors incoming calls to their at-home staff .
When I called Jet Blue to book a recent flight the reservation agent was very professional and pleasant. If I hadn’t read about their telecommuting practices, I never would have known the difference. At the end of the conversation I asked the agent, tongue in cheek, if she wears her bunny slippers to work (I couldn’t help myself). She laughed, but didn’t answer. I bet she does.
From a customer’s perspective, I appreciate the savings I get from Jet Blue’s cost cutting practices like the lack overhead for the reservations department. From a boss’s perspective, I was inspired by their system of managing telecommuting employees. According to an article on cbsnews.com, Jet Blue had a 25% increase in productivity the minute they switched to this work-from-home system that accurately keeps track of each telecommuter’s work hours and performance feedback.
But how do the rest of us quantify our telecommuters’ work? This is one of the biggest questions we bosses have about employees working from home. How do I know how much they are working? Continue reading “Managing Telecommuters: A Boss’s Perspective”
Graymatter’s Guide To Greener Business Practices
Find Sustainable Strategies
When we set out to go green at work, I was amazed to learn how toxic our office was (and still is!).Â Â Nearly everything was suspect.Â Obvious culprits like computers and light bulbs didn’t surprise me but I hadn’t considered the adhesive on post-its, the ink in the toner cartridges or the furniture itself.Â It was almost too much information, which made the process seem daunting.Â So, after a deep breath,Â we decided to take things one step at a time. As a matter of fact, I came to realize that the act of going green itself can be waistful.Â You don’t necessarily want to rush right out and get rid of old computers and furniture (unless you have a hyper sensitive immune system).Â That just adds to a landfill.Â As with anything, the middle path, the path of moderation is often the wisest.Â We came up with some broad stroke ‘strategies’, and I use that term loosely, that were sustainable to the environment and to our budget.Â So, for us going green is an on-going process.Â We’re more green today than we were yesterday but not as green as we’ll be tomorrow (I hope!).
Here are some of the first sustainable ‘strategies’ we came up with.Â Maybe they’ll work for you or maybe you’ll come up with your own. Continue reading “How To Green Your Office”
The use of the Internet has changed the landscape of the American election process.Â Candidates are using free resources like http://ustream.tv and http://youtube.com to get their message out with great success.Â Web sites are used collect campaign money and put out calls to action.Â Social networking sites have helped reach voters young and old.
These green methods are replacing the old wasteful election mailers.Â We suggest these cadidates make a committment to greener business practices by using green web hosting such as Graymatter Green Web Hosting.
FlexPath recently put out a listed of the five biggest mistakes individuals make in telecommuting.Â Having been both a telecommuter and employer of telecommuters, I thought it was useful.Â Here is FlexPath’s Five Biggest Mistakes in Telecommuting (in bold) with my perspective thrown in afterwards:
1. Neglect to set boundaries for themselves regarding work and personal responsibilities. I still find this quite challenging, even now after years of telecommuting.Â Here’s what works for me (sometimes):
- Have at least one work-dedicated phone line installed;
- Set up a room or area that is exclusively for work;
- Set a time when you ‘go home’ after which you don’t answer the phone or continue working (yeah, good luck with that!).
Continue reading “The Five Biggest Mistakes in Telecommuting”