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One-third of businesses increase remote work arrangements: Survey

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Remote work arrangements, including telecommuting and working from satellite offices, have increased at nearly one-third of U.S. companies, according to a survey of chief financial officers released Wednesday.

Accountemps, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based specialized temporary staffing company for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, conducted the survey of 1,400 CFOs.

“The prevalence of mobile technologies and wireless communication makes it easier for companies to support flexible work arrangements for their employees,” Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of “Human Resources Kit for Dummies,” said in a statement.

Help with recruitment, retention

Although 33% of CFOs reported increased use of remote work arrangements, 57% reported no change.

“Although not all positions are suited to remote work arrangements, for those that are, this option can help give professionals more control over their schedules and aid in recruitment and retention efforts,” Mr. Messmer said in the statement.

The survey was conducted June 17-July13, and includes interviews with 1,400 CFOs from companies with at least 20 employees. There were 569 respondents from companies with 100-999 employees.

Tips for remote work arrangements

However, he urged businesses considering remote work arrangements to set clear policies and establish specific productivity goals.

Among Mr. Messmer's recommendations:

• Keep remote workers informed on the latest news from their departments and the company using regular calls and in-person meetings in addition to email.

• Ensure that off-site employees have the necessary resources, including appropriate network access.

• Establish expectations and guidelines at the beginning, and monitor the arrangement and adjust as necessary.

• Establish and follow appropriate security protocols.

• Include remote workers in team activities and recognize their accomplishments in front of colleagues to ensure they feel connected to the group.

The survey was conducted between June 17 and July 13 and includes interviews with 1,400 CFOs, 569 of whom were from companies with 100 to 999 employees.