In February 2010, a nor’easter dumped 2-3 feet of snow on the mid-Atlantic and crippled productivity for at least a week. In January 2011, an ice storm left thousands stranded on highways and roads in the Washington, DC area. They all left work early to avoid the impeding storm, but were caught right in the midst of it.
With each storm, the case for teleworking became that much stronger. However, it seems that employers are still slow to adopt this method of work.
The Harvard Business Review released the findings of a study supporting the idea that remote employees are more engaged than those who are in the office. “The team members who were not in the same location with their leaders were more engaged and committed — and rated the same leader higher — than team members sitting right nearby,” said Scott Edinger, founder of Edinger Consulting Group.
Some employers reject employee requests to work from home, possibly because they believe these employees will somehow be more productive if they’re under the employer’s watchful eye. And even though these same employers may trust the advice of a consultant over their own employees, they still seem to reject the idea of working with a consultant. Perhaps they think she’ll inflate the working hours on her invoice. Or, again, employers prefer to keep an eye on those who work for and with them. However, here are four reasons why that same consultant has every intention of completing projects on-time and to the best of her ability.
You’re not her only client. Time management is critical for a consultant, especially if she works on an hourly rate. All of her clients want what they want when they want it. And all their projects are urgent. Therefore, goof-off time is nonexistent.
She has less time to get to know you. You and the consultant have agreed on a project plan that dictates that the job will be completed in a finite amount of time. Unlike an employee, this consultant doesn’t get a 90-day trial period to get to know you and how you work. Instead, she probably only has a few billable hours. A good consultant is efficient enough to get the most out of these few hours to get her job done right.
Her reputation is on the line. And even if she had the wacky idea to goof-off on your project, not put her best foot forward, and exceed your expectations? What would that do to her business? What good would it serve her to jeopardize future work by performing shoddy work for you?
She’s a consultant because she works independently and doesn’t need constant supervision. Consultants excel at what they do because they’re able to multitask and identify problems and solutions quickly. She wouldn’t do her job any better if you were there to look over her shoulder. Most likely, her performance would be worse. And that would be bad for her and you both.
Share with us: How does your company regard working with outside consultants? Consultants: do you sometimes have to work to overcome the misconceptions potential clients have about how you work?