The Telecommuting Work Suitability Index
The Simplest, Easiest Way To Evaluate A
Candidate's Typical Assignments
What Kinds Of Work Are
Good For Telecommuting?
Plumbers and surgeons can't do it, yet, but computer programmers and
telephone operators can. Obviously, not all work is equally adaptable to the special
opportunities and limitations of telecommuting. In general, work
that is easily accomplished via telecommuting includes:
that do not require specialized equipment,
- Work that can be done
- Responsibilities that can be handled in any location.
of common jobs contain some responsibilities and tasks that are
perfectly well suited to telecommuting. But how to know for sure?
Even the most skillful, enthusiastic, hard-working, and well-trained
telecommuter will fail if the only assignments he or she receives
are not well suited to telecommuting. That's why the companion evaluation to the Telecommuting
Affinity Index must be an equally fair-minded evaluation
of the work a candidate for telecommuting is typically asked
Because their work generally can't be done while telecommuting,
trustworthy and hardworking employees from surgeons to plumbers, from
receptionists to expediters are rarities in the "work-at-home" population.
But during the past few decades of steadily continuing growth
in the numbers of telecommuters, more and more people in a wide
range of front-line, supervisory, mid-managerial, creative,
professional, and strategic leadership positions have chalked
up considerable success while performing at least some of their
The general rule is that you needn't forget how to get to
the office to become a successful telecommuter -- the vast majority
of telecommuters stay home to do their work only one or two days
per week. The rest of the time, they're in the office like their
non-telecommuting colleagues. This "home and away"
pattern creates the possibility that you can "time shift"
your assignments to place the responsibilities most suitable
for telecommuting into full days of work -- and telecommute only
on the days when you actually do that work.
On this basis, tens of millions of people doing a vast range of jobs can find a way to do
at least parts of them very well without physically traveling
to their employer's centralized office every day.
To quantify the kind of work that's suitable for telecommuting
within any individual's set of responsibilities, you can use
the time-tested Telecommuting Work Suitability Index.
Basically, it's a questionnaire you can administer to all
the telecommuting candidates in your workgroup, or to yourself
(if you're interested in pitching yourself as a telecommuter
to your boss). From the answers, you can make a fairly accurate
determination of whether or not a sufficient proportion of the
job's normal work can be accomplished via telecommuting.
You can administer the questionnaire again and again, as often
as there are changes in the types of work to be evaluated.
The questionnaire asks for "how many hours" you
spend at various types of work. You can guess at these figures,
or you can use a relatively simple but accurate "Time
Log" Form to make a more accurate determination.
Once you have listed the hours of effort for each of these
categories, review the whole list. You might find you've listed
more hours than you actually work during a typical work. That's
because estimates made from memory are notoriously inaccurate.
If you find this happening, you'll get better results when you
revise your original answers to reflect more accurately how you
allocate your time to the various kinds of work you do.
After the Telecommuting Work Suitability Index
has been completed, it's easy to to interpret the point score
using the enclosed interpretation guidelines.
To order one or more copies of the ATA's new Telecommuting
Work Suitability Index (note: order one copy for each candidate you intend to test),
call, write, or send e-mail to YourATA@yourata.com
and specify the number of copies you want. The cost is $2.50
each, with a minimum order amount of $10 (price includes shipping
and handling, ask about available discounts on purchases of 20
or more copies). Be sure to include your telephone number and
mailing address. We'll call you to arrange for payment by credit
card or check, and send out your requested copies of the ATA's
exclusive Telecommuting Work Suitability Index within
two business days.
To become a Member of the ATA, call 1-800-ATA-4-YOU
, or e-mail to YourATA@yourata.com
and let us know you're interested. Include your mailing name,
address, and phone, and you'll receive a New Member Application
Packet that explains all the advantages and benefits of membership.
Last Updated: August 2, 2006
© Copyright The American Telecommuting Association, 1996, 2006
( All Rights Reserved )
Send your comments to: YourATA@yourata.com