I am currently working towards my MBA, and this semester I'm taking an information systems class online. As with all the classes I've taken I try to find a way to relate what we're discussing in class to my life and my job to help make the lessons both more interesting and more useful.
Last week the connection between what we were talking about and work was immediately apparent. We were given a group assignment to develop a plan for a group of employees trying to convince management to allow telecommuting, a request they had flatly refused in the past. FlexiServer Team Management Software is one of our business applications that is designed to track the attendance and computer usage of employees, making it an ideal solution for managing remote employees, so naturally it immediately jumped to mind as a potential solution to overcome management objections. FlexiServer would allow for telecommuting while addressing answering one of the large concerns management might have, how to accurately track the hours and productivity of the telecommuters.
Managers don't want to end up paying an employee for surfing the internet all day and not getting anything done. And there is a concern that this is what will happen when the manager can't see what an employee is doing. Fortunately real-time technology tools for employee tracking not only open the door for telecommuting, but can offer a solution for this concern as well. Using software like FlexiServer allows managers to see reports on employee hours, application use, or optionally screenshots of the employee's computer; giving managers greater peace of mind that work is still getting done.
Also important for the telecommuter, who might be using a personal computer, is the ability to log in and out of work-mode. This allows the employee to log-on when they are doing work related activities to have their hours tracked, and then log-off during non-business hours and not need to worry about their personal computer use being tracked. Similarly, in an office an employee can switch to a private-mode during a break to do something like checking their bank account without worrying about the session being recorded by Flexi or seen by management.
For the assignment, my group chose to use an interrogatories technique. What that boils down to is compiling a comprehensive list of all the possible questions management might have about allowing telecommuting. Questions, such as why the staff wants it to what other companies have in place, to how it could be achieved. Then when you have the list you go through and answer them all in order to help persuade management that telecommuting is a viable business plan despite their initial misgivings. I think that FlexiServer Attendance Software is an answer to one of these big questions, how to manage and track hours of remote and telecommuting staff.