What To Do About Working From Home

As San Francisco moves to enforce mandatory flex-work schedules, we look at how credit unions can benefit from offering employees the option to work remotely.


As a writer, there are many opportunities to work away from the office. In my last job as an architecture journalist, I did a lot of writing from the home office, sometimes from a coffee shop, and sometimes from my couch, while watching Lethal Weapon 2 on TBS’ premier day-time line-up. At times, I wasn’t the most efficient worker.

But, everyone is different. Some people thrive in the office and some people work better on their own time and in their own space. Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer has been criticized for banning telecommuting for her employees. Mayer has aroused debate over the necessity of working in the office and the ideal work-life balance.

In San Francisco, a city supervisor has introduced a proposal that would allow workers to ask their employers to adjust their start times or allow them to telecommute or job-share, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The plan is intended to require businesses to offer parents and caregivers flexible work schedules.

More than half of new mothers lack any paid maternity leave. According to the family-advocacy group MomsRising.org, 51% of new mothers lack any paid leave, meaning some take unpaid leave, some quit, and some lose their jobs. The United States is one of only four countries that doesn’t offer paid leave to new mothers.

Under the proposed law in San Francisco, it would be illegal to fire or demote employees, who as caregivers, request flexible schedules.

In January I highlighted BECU’s flex work program in 9 Tips For Managing A Remote Workforce. At BECU ($10.8B; Seattle, WA), 40% of employees work remotely and it has served the credit union well, especially in its call center. BECU’s remote workforce manager Nathan Hickman offers the following nine tips for successfully managing a program:

  1. Create visibility
  2. Stay connected
  3. Be inclusive
  4. Host regular visits
  5. Go for a test drive
  6. Keep technology simple
  7. Make the intranet your water cooler
  8. Streamline the vetting process
  9. Re-evaluate periodically

For a more in depth look at BECU’s remote work program read my full story here.


June 26, 2013

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