Why Businesses Need to Pay Attention to Telecommuting

Posted on: May 5th, 2015 by Max Valerio No Comments


Remote working arrangements are here to stay and becoming more popular all the time.  Of course, not every company is taking advantage. 

Doubts still linger regarding the value of letting employees avoid the commute to stay home and work by connecting to company resources online.  After all even the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, felt she had to rein her remote workers back to the mothership in order to focus their drive and attention on the monumental mission of saving the company.  Apparently, this was a good move.  Even so, being able to work from home at least some of the time is becoming an expectation and companies would be prudent to follow this trend if they want to attract and keep the best talent.  With more companies offering nap pods, unlimited PTO,  paternity leave, sabbaticals, and the option to bring your dog to work – every little perk is important and working remotely is actually a huge benefit and more attractive than the snazziest nap pod or onsite dry cleaning.   According to recent Gallup polls nearly 4 out of 10 companies provide the option for workers to work remotely.   Is remote working something your company should offer?

Who Coined the Term

Working remotely or telecommuting is a relatively recent phenomenon.   The term “telecommuting” was coined by Jack Nilles in 1972.  At the time Nilles was working from home on a communication system for NASA; he coined the word “telecommuting” and a new era of long distance working was born.  A series of Federal initiatives encouraged the use of telecommuting in the government workplace throughout the 70’s and 80’s and over time the idea gained traction buoyed by a concern for the environment –  a desire to cut carbon emissions caused by long commutes.  As personal computers became more powerful and commonplace and went online, it was only a matter of time before many more people began to work from home.

Work Anywhere and Any Time

Of course, telecommuting from a home office is only one facet of remote working, people can also work nearly anywhere in the world or any time, since they only need a computing device that’s plugged into a network – whether private or public.   Workers can work on the go as they travel and an office is now as much an idea as an actual place to be.

What are the  Advantages                      

Enabling telecommuting helps companies to be nimble and not chained to a location, to retain the best talent and to stay ahead of the competition.   The best candidate for a job can be found nearly anywhere when it is unnecessary for a person to be physically present to do a job.  Substantial amounts of money can be saved when overhead from an office space is not even a consideration.  Allowing workers to telecommute is a powerful incentive and minimizes workplace politics, giving workers the gift of flexibility.  Some may opt for partial telecommuting, coming into the office whenever they need or at designated times in order to connect with the energy and ambiance of the company.  Others may work on the go, traveling for important business across the globe and still accomplishing what needs to be done from nearly anywhere.

Telecommuting is here to Stay

Certainly telecommuting can have its drawbacks and it is not for every employee or every employer.  New ways to manage or oversee employee productivity may need to be implemented.   Unified Communication solutions have made it easier to track employee productivity since the tools are really all extensions of the business and are in constant collaborative mode.

Regardless of potential drawbacks, remote working is here to stay and bound to become more popular as time goes on.  Additionally millennials are going to want to be able to work from anywhere using phones, tablets and laptops.  They take mobility for granted and are dexterous enough on a wide range of devices to take advantage of UC tools that enable productive telecommuting.  UC mobile clients provide the means and tools for workers to thrive and be productive: collaboration tools, presence and IM/chat, remote conferencing and a range of apps that enable workers to search and process information worldwide at any time all converge to enable remote working.  Here at ATI Connect we can help you get on board with these Unified Communications tools so that your business can offer this appealing, innovative option to your employees.  Contact us today!


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