Quiz: Are you tailor-made for telework?

FOR EMPLOYEES

Interested in telework? Take our quiz to see if you're a good candidate for working remotely.

Do you have a distraction-free work space?

a. My study contains only what I need to do my work, and I can lock the door.
b. I usually work on a table in my bedroom and try to ignore the TV.
c. My home office is the kitchen counter -- no privacy here!

Do you have young children or other dependents who require your attention during work hours?

a. No, it's just me.
b. Yes, but my spouse/family member/nanny handles school, meals and playtime.
c. Yes, I care for family members, in addition to working.
Are you comfortable enough with your computer and other technology that you can troubleshoot when something goes wrong?
a. I'm a tech geek; my co-workers often rely on my expertise in a crisis.
b. I can find the help menu, or at least describe the problem when I call IT support.
c. Where's the on switch?

Is your commute a factor in your desire to telework?

a. No, getting to the office is a breeze. I've got other reasons.
b. Partly. I can drive or take public transportation to work, but it eats up valuable time.
c. Yes. I live far away and find the commute difficult.

Do you have the flexibility to alter your telework plans based on projects, meetings or co-workers' needs?

a. Sure. I can work at the office or adjust my hours accordingly.
b. I try to be flexible, but I need some advance notice.
c. No. My other commitments prevent me from making last-minute schedule changes.

Do you work well independently?

a. I always take initiative and don't need anyone looking over my shoulder.
b. It helps to have my co-workers around for support, but I usually can get my job done alone.
c. I need my supervisor to stay on my case to accomplish anything.

How well (and often) do you communicate with your supervisor and co-workers?

a. I'm permanently attached to my BlackBerry and always can be reached in and out of the office.
b. I prefer in-person contact, but I'm also fairly accessible by phone and e-mail.
c. I depend on my boss and peers to reach out to me regardless of where I am; otherwise I'll just work alone.

Does your work involve secure information or hands-on activity that can't be performed easily from home?

a. No, everything I need to do my job can travel from work to home.
b. I divide my time among various projects, and some of these are accessible from home.
c. Yes, it's difficult to work without certain information or equipment at the office.

Click here for quiz results.

FOR MANAGERS

Are you a manager with some reservations about whether telework is the right choice for your employees? Answer the questions below to find out if telework helps or hurts productivity.

Do you have telework metrics for evaluating employees?

a. Yes, our work is easily quantifiable and can be measured regardless of employees' location.
b. Our evaluations of teleworkers aren't as comprehensive as they could be, but we're improving.
c. I need to see with my own two eyes my employees' work to assess their performance.

Do you have a designated telework coordinator and a formal telework policy?

a. Both are in place and ready to implement (or are in use).
b. We're working on developing specific procedures and appointing someone to that position.
c. We need what?

Do you have in-office assistance for teleworkers who need access to files, tech support or project status updates?

a. We have a formal, comprehensive plan for providing this kind of help.
b. Each team or department makes separate arrangements for these situations.
c. If employees want to work remotely, they are responsible for finding solutions on their own.

How well do you communicate with your employees?

a. I check in several times a day, either in person, by phone or e-mail, and I'm always available to provide feedback.
b. We're all busy, so once a day is all I can manage.
c. We communicate only when there is a problem.

Are your expectations clear for employees working remotely?

a. Yes, we have written standards tailored to each employee for regular contact, equipment, assistance and schedules.
b. We have broad guidelines, but they are difficult to oversee.
c. Aren't the standards the same as for employees in the office?

Do you feel confident giving projects to teleworkers when you can't discuss the work in-person?

a. I trust my employees to understand their assignments and carry them out.
b. I prefer to talk about new tasks in person, but if that's not an option, I don't mind discussing details with employees via phone or e-mail.
c. I tend to forget about employees I can't see, and end up unfairly distributing projects as a result.

Click here for quiz results.

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