By Nerino Petro at 4 April, 2008, 9:00 am
Many law firms are looking for ways to retain good people without having to “break the bank” to do so. One option that is being used more regularly is giving employees the opportunity to telecommute. No longer is telecommuting a rarity; organizations now exist to provide information and assistance such as the American Telecommuting Association, the International Telework Association & Council and the Society for Human Resource Management. In addition to these private organizations, the United States government is also providing information for telecommuting under the guise of Worklife management
The United States Department of Justice has several resources available online including a Telecommuting fact sheet, a Telework guide and a sample Telecommuting Agreement Form. You can also find telecommuting policies from the University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering here and from the US Department of Health and Human Services here. The American Bar Association Law Practice Management section publishes its "Telecommuting for Lawyers" book by Nicole Belson Goluboff which can be found at the ABA Web store here.
A number of local and national publications are taking notice that the use of telecommuting as part of creating a more flexible work environment is on the rise. In a recent article in InformationWeek, CDW Corp. announced the results of a national survey showing “…private sector telecommuting adoption is on the rise (14%) and catching up to the adoption rates of federal employees (17%).” John Halamka in his March 17, 2008 article on CIO.com entitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Telecommuting” talks about many of the benefits but also addresses many of the issues including equity, technology and security to name a few that need to be overcome to make telecommuting a success. This article is well thought out and also provides a look at sample worksheets and other resources that may be valuable as you evaluate whether or not to incorporate telecommuting into your current work environment.