Who is a teleworker or an agent?
What is a telework?
In 1975 American scientist D. Nellis introduced a new concept «computer-based technology». This is a job that can be done remotely with the help of computer technologies.
One should distinguish four notions. Today telecommuting is a common term for «distance work» in Europe and other countries when in the meantime teleworking as «remote working» is more often used in the United States and Canada.
Both terms mean a work managed from home with a help of telecommunications equipment or using mobile telecommunications technologies to work in restaurants, cafes or other public places.
Teleworker, consequently, is a freelancer or a remote staff member with flexible working hours. An agent is a modern global/international level freelancer with long-term experience in a specific business or service market sphere who wants to work on the best projects all over the world from any place on Earth.
Legislation: drawing on the example of Europe
In 2001 European Trade Union Confederation, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the Confederation of European Business held their first meeting.
A framework agreement that covers different types of teleworking and is based on legal labor agreement was signed on 23 May 2002.
In early 2006 most European countries domestically implement agreement herein.
The main points of EU agreement
According to the European framework agreement, a teleworker must fork from PC outside the office no less than a fourth part of business hours in average few times a week.
The article 139 stipulates two variants agreement implementation on EU level between an employer and a remote employee like «autonomous agreement» and «Council of Ministers` decision».
The last ones consisted of European Trade Union Confederation, European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, BusinessEurope along with European Center of Employers and Enterprises: they reached the agreement on vacations and childcare and parental leave (Council Directive №96/34/EU of 03.06.1996), part-time employment (Council Directive №97/81/EU of 05.12.1997) and emergency-type job (Council Directive №1999/70/EU of 28.06.1999)
Autonomous or sweetheart agreement is an agreement that is not included in a directive and is a contractual obligation for affiliated entities at the appropriate level of production relations.
European framework agreement protects teleworker or agent by non-discrimination provision and granting rights such as data protection, privacy protection and access to education: work stress and standards of practice for remote employees equalized to other staff.
For instance, according to the Czech Republic`s and Slovakia`s labor code, remote employees cannot demand the bonuses for extra work (at night, on the weekend or on holidays). In Denmark, teleworkers are not allowed to receive supplementary social package if their working hours are different from business hours existing in collective agreements.
Health and security
According to the European framework agreement, the employer is responsible for health and safety in the teleworker`s workplace: they need to inform the employee of the hazards associated with the work.
For instance, in Slovenia law requires the employer to inform Labor Inspectorate (Inšpektorat Republike Slovenije za delo, IRSD) about hiring any of the employees for out-of-the-office work. Then controller inspects teleworker`s workplace and if they consider it to be unfitting or dangerous to health, they can cancel a decision.
It is said in a European framework agreement that «the employer must respect teleworker`s confidentiality». In case the employer needs access to teleworkers working place, at first, he should inform and obtain the agreement. It is demanded by Council Directive №90/270/EU of may 1990 regarding minimal occupational safety and health requirements for the teleworker.
For instance in Denmark according to Financial Sector Employers’ Association of Denmark (Finans Sektors Arbejds Giverforening, FA) and Financial Service Union (Finance Forbundet, FF), it is considered that access to the employee`s house can only be provided to monitor health and safety regulatory compliance when approved by teleworker.
In Poland, IT equipment test or modernization are accorded with teleworker in advance.
We have to distinguish teleworker`s an agent`s work
Agents are independent professionals, cooperation with whom mostly is based on the «free» partnership agreement: a client and a performer offer their own and exclusive cooperation conditions.
For many people, such working agreement is more reliable and allows more freedom for successful implementation of delegated tasks.
The agent is like an Executive Director who independently deals with the issue partly reporting «issue is in progress».
Therefore, any remote employee or freelancer may eventually wish to completely «get rid of corporate or office bonds» and change it on conditions and requirements of their own «mini-company»
Remote cooperation: no risks, no losses
Remote employees must be tested before their hiring. They need to have appropriate experience, work ethic, desire to develop individually and be trained to work effectively remotely.
As an employer, you need to select potentially loyal and honest experts, who are free from critical elements without any of your business sacrificing.
How to do it? Now every second freelancer/ teleworker/agent have their own online portfolio with all the achievements and completed projects, negative and positive reviews as well as a position in the ranking of a specific online-platform.
Make them part of your team
An insight into team and company can be a perfect start for future successful cooperation. Even staying at the distance you can establish a temporary free connection (Skype / Viber / Telegram / Whatsapp) and get to know each other.
Appropriate assessment methods
As well as you assess your regular staff, you need to develop separate assessment methods for remote employees.
Keen Graham, CEO of the leading advertising company Monetize More, shares his experience:
«We guarantee each remote employee`s success because we inspire them. All of our key performance indicators (KPIs) are transparent and are daily tracked. Each department has itsheir own basic KPI and a comprehensive KPI for all net income.»
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of My Corporation, a leader in online legal registration services for entrepreneurs and businesses, believes that it is important to communicate openly with your team in order to keep everyone informed of what is going on:
«You need to hold tete-a-tete meetings, encourage your team members to answer their questions or interesting thoughts, share business world innovations and new technologies.»
The existence of a strong leader
Jennifer Fisher, Director of People and Culture at ISTS, strongly believes that remote employees` success often depends on their leader:
«Supervision department should set specific goals and key performance indicators for the remote employee, but also should be tolerant of the remote employee’s work: sometimes teleworker performs tasks in a little different way than a staff member.»
Besides the supervisor must be able to delegate tasks to such an employee on a trust basis. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the person appointed as a project manager is experienced and efficient: attracts employees and monitors their results.
George Elfond, CEO of Rally Ware, recommends using technology that measures individual performance (assessing the satisfaction of their customers). According to George’s experience, the analyst can help companies to determine where problems exist and where additional training may be needed:
«Companies can use analytics to determine geographic and demographic areas in order to increase revenues by increasing the number of remote employees.»
Agent.biz is the best teleworking platform
From all the above, we can conclude:
Experts around the world increasingly tend to work remotely. The European Framework Agreement has made a breakthrough in teleworking field by framing teleworker`s job with its official rights and duties.
But still, most of the experts are interested in rights protection and payment guarantee during online cooperation.
It is possible to meet a fraudster, both among customers and performers.
«Agent.biz» is an international business platform with the best portfolio of professional agents from all over the world. The site has a system of payment insurance after the order, as well as a guarantee of «real» ads.
Make a choice today; hire the best expert for your company!