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Working from home, is that a good idea?

According to Forrester Research there are over 43 million US adults telecommuting today, and by 2016 that number will grow to 63 million, or 43% of the workforce!  Why the migration to telecommuting?  The reasons are many, but they can all be translated into the one simple fact; namely, telecommuting makes economic sense for everyone, businesses and employees.

The historic technical obstacles to telecommuting have been overcome.  Current technology has successfully addressed security issues.  The increase in consumer Internet bandwidth has improved the telecommuting experience, and that coupled with state-of-the-art remote access solutions, has made the telecommuting experience equal to the ‘in-office’ computer experience.

What about productivity? Across virtually all industries, studies indicate that workers get more accomplished when they telecommute.  In a survey of Fortune 1000 managers, 58 percent reported increased worker productivity.  The state of California’s telecommuting pilot program measured productivity increases of 10 percent to 30 percent, and American Express found a 20 percent productivity gain for off-site call center employees.

Studies of companies of all sizes and virtually all endeavors indicate the same thing; that is, workers are more productive when they are allowed to telecommute.

A few Telecommuting benefits:

  • Increased worker productivity equates to increased company profits
  • Less travel to and from the office equates to less wasted time in traffic
  • Employees appreciate the increased personal and productive time along with reduced commuting cost
  • The environment benefits from reduced pollution caused by auto traffic
  • Companies benefit from reduced travel expenses
  • Reduced requirement for company infrastructure, ie. offices, desks, etc.  In some cases the corporate offices can be completely eliminated.
  • Companies can employ people located over a wider geographical area (not limited by drive time to the office)
  • Companies offering telecommuting to employees attract more workers than those who don’t.

Everything being considered, telecommuting is the future, and the future is now.  To stay competitive in business means to utilize Information Technology to advantage, and successful businesses today and tomorrow will be implementing telecommuting solutions on a significant scale.

So, where do you begin if you’re thinking of implementing a telecommuting solution for your business?  How do you get from an office-oriented business model to one that utilizes remote access for some or all of its computer-user employees?  The first step is to do your homework.  Take the time to better understand the options available, their benefits, and their respective implementation costs.  Know the differences in the various solutions available, and learn what solutions are being utilized by businesses similar to yours.  If you don’t have the time to invest in this kind of ‘homework’ you can engage a qualified Consulting firm, with a proven track record for implementing this type of technology, and seek their recommendation.

Whether you research things on your own, or use a third party IT Consulting Company, it should be a priority to understand, because whether you chose to implement telecommuting in your business or not, your competition will.