Should Your Nonprofit Organization Stop Telecommuting?
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Impact
Research consistently shows that elder and childcare duties fall disproportionately to women, people of color, and those with disabilities. As a result, having the flexibility of working at home helps mitigate some of the impact and keeps those individuals with care responsibilities in the job market and earning an income. Healthcare access is not equitable, so allowing telecommuting helps members of disenfranchised communities to access healthcare support which, of course, is critical.
Flexible work locations are a financial issue. Physically coming to an office costs money in transportation, wardroom, lunch, and extra child or eldercare costs for the time when the employee is in transit. There has also been extensive research showing negative physical health, mental well-being, and environmental implications to commuting. As a result, organizations that can offer some or all telecommuting are more likely to have great staff loyalty and satisfaction. For staff members who have received reimbursements or stipends for internet or phone services while telecommuting, employers need to examine carefully the cost impact for employees if these communication avenues are not provided.
3 Ways to Determine if Your Nonprofit Should Bring Vaccinated Staff Back Onsite
Assess what actually must be done in person. For example, you might need staff to be present physically for fundraising events, such as walks, but not for the months of preparation that occur beforehand. Determine what work can be done remotely from home, and then develop a clear onsite attendance policy that is subject to change as your organization’s needs do.
Ask yourself why you might want staff onsite. If you believe your team members need direct supervision, then be sure clearly defined tasks and measurable outcomes are set for your employees and projects. Such benchmarks should be in place wherever work is done -- whether onsite or from home.
One of the benefits traditionally associated with onsite work is the feeling of community that comes from those water-cooler moments. There are many ways to create community during remote work such as introductions and icebreakers at the start of online meetings and group chats.
You may want to consider earmarking some of the money the organization saves through the use of less office space and reduced employee turnover for social gatherings such as holiday parties or group meals. If your budget allows you might be able invite some volunteers and supporters too. It is a great way to say thank you for your efforts for our mission while creating and maintaining community.
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