Face time isn’t what it used to be at some offices, recent research suggests. In an Accountemps survey, more than one in five (22 per cent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said remote work arrangements, such as telecommuting and working from satellite offices, have increased at their companies in the last three years. Just 2 per cent of executives said these arrangements have decreased at their firms.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 270 CFOs across Canada.

CFOs were asked, “Have remote work arrangements (for example, telecommuting or working from a satellite office) within your company increased, decreased or remained the same in the last three years?” Their responses: 

Increased greatly 5%
Increased somewhat 17%
No change 66%
Decreased somewhat 1%
Decreased greatly 1%
Doesn’t apply/no remote work 10%
  100%

“Providing staff with more flexibility over their work schedules can be a great incentive for employees, as well as a valuable retention tool for businesses,” said Kathryn Bolt, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Many firms enjoy offering these options, which can be relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to implement, given the prevalence of mobile technologies and wireless communication.”

Bolt added, “Although not all roles are suited for remote work arrangements, companies that do allow them should establish clear expectations and productivity goals with their employees.”

Accountemps identifies five tips for employers and employees: 

  Advice for employers Advice for employees
1. Communication    Keep remote workers in the loop on the latest news about the department and company. Don’t rely solely on email: Schedule regular calls and in-person meetings.       Provide frequent status updates to the boss on key projects, and look for opportunities to interact with your manager and colleagues.
2. Resources Ensure offsite employees have the necessary resources, including appropriate network access. If you are using your own computer and phone system, make sure your equipment is up-to-date. You should be as productive working remotely as you are in the office.
3. Planning Establish expectations and guidelines at the outset so you can monitor the arrangement and adjust as necessary. Anticipate potential concerns your employer may have about an offsite work arrangement and be prepared to discuss how you plan to handle them.
4. Security Work with your information technology personnel to set up the requisite security protocols. Ensure your computer and other equipment are safeguarded by the company against security threats.
5. Camaraderie To ensure remote workers continue to feel connected to the group, include them in team activities and recognize their accomplishments in front of their colleagues. Try to join group activities, from offsite trainings to department celebrations, as much as possible.

Seek input from coworkers when brainstorming, and volunteer to assist them when they need help.

 About Accountemps

Accountemps has more than 350 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at http://www.accountemps.com/.

For further information:

Contact: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, [email protected]