Posted in: IT employment, Special Report, telecommuting
As IT has become increasingly vital to businesses big and small, hiring the best IT talent has become increasingly competitive. So, being able to offer tech professionals what they need and want should be the goal of any company that’s interested in having the best IT shop with the best skills. What do techies need and want most?
That would be the ability to work remotely.
Of course it’s the IT department that often makes it possible for other employees in the organization to telecommute and travel for their job, IT pros often find themselves without the option to work off-site themselves.
Why? It’s a fact that for many IT tasks, it’s necessary to be physically present in the office.
But allowing telecommuting for some jobs some of the time, or instituting a rotating system in which IT staffers take turns working in telecommuting-friendly roles, can be a valuable benefit that helps retain current employees and attract new talent.
In fact, the ability to work remotely is the job perk IT pros want the most, according to a recent survey from recruiting firm ProTech. Among the 1,083 IT pros surveyed, 28% listed flextime and the opportunity to telecommute as the best benefit they’ve been offered by a current or previous employer. That was the top answer by a wide margin, beating out other options such as annual and signing bonuses (17%), additional vacation time (8%), equity (8%), travel opportunities (7%), and tuition reimbursement (7%).
Help IT staff telecommute
With more companies looking to hire IT pros, it’s important to offer benefits tech employees want to avoid losing current staffers or prospective hires to the competition. Here are some keys to keep in mind when offering telecommuting options in the IT department:
- Rotate jobs when possible – Some tasks require the employee to be in the office, but try to rotate duties so that all eligible employees have the same opportunities to work remotely.
- Revoke the benefit when necessary – Not everyone is cut out to work away from supervision, and managers shouldn’t be afraid to keep those people in the office.
- Don’t punish telecommuters – The point of flexible work arrangements is to reward employees who’ve earned it, not to punish people for working at home. But often, people who telecommute don’t get the same rewards as others – for example, one recent survey found that telecommuters are less likely to get positive performance reviews and promotions.
It’s often the job of finance leaders to oversee the IT department and its policies. Now might be a good time to review with your IT managers how they feel about telecommuting for their staff and what they can do to make it possible at least some of the time.
Be sure to factor in any costs that would be associated with an IT telecommuting policy and examine if boosted productivity and access to advanced tech skills would give your organization an IT advantage.
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