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Staying within the limits of there personnel manual, is anyone else getting the same consideration, is this going to be a trial period. Does the company have a gas allowance? If so when was it updated? Although she is a valued employee, the company needs to think off what happens next. Could this be setting a new standard they want or not. She might move on. There is alot here to consider. Measure twice and cut once.

I think it's a great idea! The number one reason is because obviously Maria is a great supervisor and the company shouldn't want to lose her. Her retention has no doubt saved the company a lot of money in employee retention, morales, productivity quality, etc. If they refuse to allow her the telecommuting oppty, they are at risk of losing a valued resource. Besides, if she is that effective in person with her employees, I would be willing to bet she can bridge the 2 days away from them with effective on-line and phone communication, coaching and support. The company would have to be willing to give her the tools to do so, however. The only drawback I can see is the perception factor it could have on her employees - "if she can, why can't I". If well communicated to her employees, it shouldn't be an issue. But it should at least be considered.

Maria's position is not a telecommuter-friendly. She needs to be on site to monitor and train. Her value to the company needs to be evaluated and, if determined that she is as good as described in this scenario, the company might consider a gas subsidiary for her. Doing so, however, would open the floodgates for all employees wanting "gas money". Therefore, a policy would need to be designed to define exceptions to the policy that would allow the subsidiary in Maria's case.

It sounds as tho Maria is an employee you'd want to keep. So, reward her. How about the Company helping her with her car/travel expenses or if not, let her try the work from home on a trial. It may work out very well. Otherwise, it looks as tho you will lose her altogether. We have tried the work at home situation and it has not affected productivity or business at all. It's just an adjustment.

The information provided is not sufficient to determine whether or not it would be a good idea to allow Maria to work from home two days per week. She would, after all, be in the office three days per week to handle anything that might need "hands-on" attention, and she might be able to communicate effectively with her staff and key customers by phone and e-mail from home the other two days. If Maria is as good as she seems, it would not be good for the company to lose her to a competitor closer to her home. I would allow Maria to try the arrangement on a trial basis for a limited time, after which there would be an evaluation of the impact it had on customer service. If it seemed that the new customer service reps were not receiveing sufficient coaching and training, or if it seemed that the quality of customer service was suffering, I would tell Maria the work-at-home arrangement was not working out and that she would have to return to her office. On the other hand, if the evaluation showed that there was no erosion in the quality of customer service or in the morale of her staff, I would allow the practice to continue. I would also want to see where the practice might be expanded to include other positions. If productivity, customer service and employee morale would not suffer, it might reduce the company's overhead by allowing employees in certain position to work from home instead of from an office. It might also reduce expenses related to turnover (recruitement, training,etc.) by retaining good employees who might otherwise be tempted to seek employment closer to home.

If this offer can be extended to all who ask, then let her try two days of work from home. Keep in mind you can not make an offer for one that can not be made for all or favoritism could be claimed by co-workers.

I would set a trial period to see if it can work, and evaulate at the end of this time frame. Time will tell if she is getting the work she needs to done at home and if this is user friendly for the organization.

This sounds like a valuable employee whose presence in the office provides a lot of good morale to others. IF the gas expense is the ONLY reason she is requesting this, I would look for another way to help her with this expense. However, often the reason given for a request like this is only the tip of the iceberg.

I believe it would be a good idea to honor Maria's request. If she's the best of the best and loyal to the company, why wouldn't you try to keep her happy? A satisfied employee will keep doing their job exceptionally. Chances are, she will try even harder than she already is to do things for the company and her reps because her request was taken seriously and she now feels that the company appreciates her and her hard work. If she is that good, she will be able to make 3 days in office work. And with communication playing such a huge role in great leadership, she would probably find it even more important to keep in continuous contact with her reps and make herself available at all times while she's working from home.
I think it would also be appropriate to tell Maria that this decision will be made final after a 90 day evaluation. Her work must continue to be exceptional for it to benefit Maria and the company. If the communication is clear and both parties agree that a 90 day eval would help make a final decision, I feel that would be a good option.

Several thoughts come to mind:

Will others desire similar work environments if this desire is approved?

How does this impact the one on one contact with the staff reporting to the individual?

what alternatives in terms of "assisting with gas prices" have been explored by the company if this is a broader issue than just this employee?

How does this position interact with other functions in the company? Would others positions be impacted if the individual worked off site?

I see the opportunity needing greater thought beyond the specific request desired by the individual. How does it impact the overall goals and objectives of the company in terms of meeting customer expectations, internal peer expectations and staff expectations?

I would not allow her to work the 2 days at home. As she is obviously a much needed asset w/in the company and two days without her may not be good for her team.

However, to ease her gas burden, and because she is such a valuable asset, I would instead offer her a gas stipend or give her a raise since she is obviously deserving of one.

If she's that good, and it appears she is, give her more money to cover the commute. Customer Service is a very hands-on, labor intensive process for the very best of departments. You have to be available and ready to handle any sort of issue. Over the course of my career I have learned that nothing works quite as well as constant personal attention. Offer an alternative -say leave early to avoid traffic several times per week... I don't believe that customer service management is a job that lends itself to working from home.

I would allow her to do it. She has already proven to be a valuable asset without the need for constant supervision. You will however get other employees wanting to do the same. I would suggest you devise a form that they all fill out. What work will they be doing at home? Do they have the proper resources at home to do this? You might want them to complete a summary of work from home on a weekly basis. Having worked from home myself I did not have an issue turning in to my boss a timesheet of items completed and the time it took.

I would approve on a trial basis and see how it goes. If she is as good as it says she is then she may be able to pull this off. When I was hired I was told that working remotely was not possible and there was no way I could be successful. I now work at home full time and am told I am the highest rated on the team! it's all about being accessible to the team and the client as needed. with email, the phone and IM it's totally possible.

She may be able to do it. If gas prices are the main reason, you might want to increase her pay instead to help offset the gas costs...esp. if she is such a valuable employee. If she has that much of an effect on her direct reports, it might be hard for her to oversee them and maintain the level of excellence that you are used to.

But I have to say as a supervisor myself that works from home and comes into the office one day a week, if the direct reports are quality it may work. It works for me.

Option #1: the company should consider letting her use a company vehicle (preferrably a hybrid) or gas card. Option #2: let her work from home with the condition that if the sales fall, she will need to return to the previous daily schedule. Option #3: offer to help her relocate closer to the office the same as the company would for pay to relocate a new prospective employee.

If Maria is this important to the company - the company can find an economical way to keep her.

I would let her do it. She is a high-performing employee who has a proven track record of being able to manage in trying circumstances. Give her the benefit of the doubt, and make clear that you expect the same standard of performance out of her work group that you have seen to date. Re-evaluate her performance and that of the work-group after 6 months; if the standard of customer service remains high and her employees remain engaged, great. If not, then a discussion begins about whether that is due to the fact that she is no longer on-site 5 days a week, or if there are other impacting factors.

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