A Productive Alternative

What’s an easy way to improve work-life balance for your employees while reducing gridlock? Eliminate their commute. With today’s technology, working from home (also known as teleworking), is a great way to attract, retain and motivate high-performing and experienced employees. Marci Bordignon, a fire claims adjuster with Desjardins Insurance gives us the scoop.

How long is your one-way commute and how long does it take you?

One way is 27 km and it takes me about 30 to 40 minutes depending on traffic.

How often do you telework? Does your daily work schedule change when you telework?

I am a full-time teleworker and due to the nature of my occupation, my schedule can change daily. Part of my job is traveling to and visiting homes and businesses that have been severely damaged by fire, water or other weather-related events, so my daily routine depends on where those losses occur and if our customers and contractors are available to see me at a given time.

How does Desjardins promote and support people teleworking?

Desjardins makes a great effort in having employees achieve a work-life balance. They strive to offer employees a healthy, stimulating and respectful workplace that supports their commitment to put their talents to work for our customers. Part of that is to see how certain jobs function and how to achieve a balance between ensuring our clients and employees are taken care of and treated fairly.

What would you say are the top benefits of teleworking? Were there any that surprised you?

One of the obvious benefits is that I save on commuting time. I can sleep in because I don’t have to consider the time it takes to get myself dressed and ready in the morning and to drive into the office, so I can give that time back to Desjardins by working. I save on fuel costs and thus have become ec0-friendlier as I do not need to drive back and forth from the office very often. I also enjoy not having to get dressed up every day or do my makeup and hair as I would normally do going into the office. Another great benefit is the quiet. The office can get noisy at times, the low noise level allows me to focus on my work better. I am definitely more productive!

What are the challenges you face when teleworking?

It can get a bit lonely at times. There are no co-workers sitting next to me that I can visit or bounce ideas off of. However, my co-workers’ at home are my cat and dog, Pooky and Hugo who are a joy to be around. They are always there for a quick hug or to ‘talk’ to me.

What advice do you have for people who telework or are going to be teleworking?

I’d suggest you prepare yourself as best as possible. That includes setting up an office or dedicated workspace that has everything you need to do your job and is ergonomically comfortable. A room with a door is best as you can close it as necessary if you’re on the phone when your kids and/or spouse are home at the same time. Try to make a daily routine for yourself, space out your coffee breaks and lunch hour as you would if you were still in the office. This allows you to get your work done with less distraction.

What would you say to a manager or organization to convince them to implement a teleworking program?

I think it’s different for every organization and employee depending on the nature of their work and occupation. If working from home makes sense for the employee and if the needs of the customer are being met then it’s definitely worth exploring. A company can lower infrastructure costs, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and the spreading of colds and flu in the workplace. Teleworking can also accommodate employees with disabilities.