Is home working good value?

My only technology guy is working from home three or four days a week. I find it difficult to assess if it’s possible for him to manage our servers and look after the office in this way. I’ve also noticed some IT-related projects are behind schedule. Is he really working or watching too much daytime TV?


A. Graham Long of HP writes:

There are three key areas we need to consider here. Firstly, can your IT manager work from home without restricting his ability or professionalism? Secondly, how can you work round the technical jargon and be confident that projects happen on time? Thirdly, how can you ensure his absence doesn’t have a negative impact on office morale?

Providing your IT manager is fully equipped, it is certainly possible for him to manage the IT needs of your business from home. However, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The role of your IT manager should be to advise and explain as well as solve problems. Ask him to give you information in laymen’s terms, and ask him to submit a report so that you can share the information with the team. This also means that you have a reference point to track progress.

To keep your IT projects on track schedule weekly conference calls. Use these calls as an opportunity to anticipate upcoming issues rather than reacting when a problem occurs. Distribute updates and actions after the call to create an agenda for the following week. Equally, make sure you are both clear on deadlines.

Finally, be aware of the attitudes of the team around you and monitor the visibility and availability of your IT manager. You need to ensure that his roles and responsibilities are clear to all the employees so that they feel comfortable calling him. Encourage your IT manager to be visible in the work he is doing.

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