We all run into the same type of story from time to time….The one about the person who “packed it all up and moved to (insert awesome, sunny, trpoical place here) and never had to deal with winter again by using the internet as their portal back to their home base….”
It’s easy to be skeptical about this kind of story, but in reality - it’s not that far off the mark.
Today’s technologies really allow us to do what we do from virtually anywhere, and as real estate (specifically office space) continues to become more of a hinderance than a help, we will really see a major shift toward this kind of thinking.
Now, to be clear, I’m not sitting here saying that everyone is going to be practicing law from a hammock while sipping delicious beverages from a coconut - but I am saying that the technology exists to allow you to think about the word “office” a LOT differently, and that you won’t see “going to work” continue to be the commuter’s sport it used to be.
Given the option, people will emphatically say that they would WAY rather not have to “report to the office” for work, and having worked from home myself for a good chunk of time - I must say, the pros surrounding it are as bountiful as the coconut beverages in those stories we’ve heard.
Employees that work from home frequently put in more hours, are far less likely to exploit a sick day policy, report significantly better work/life balance, are less of a drag on the group benefits plan, are proven to be far more effective in their jobs, and are less likely to leave their current employer.
If nothing else, because they work from home, they aren’t pissed off by the other commuternauts that they have to deal with before they even get to work, allowing them to keep a productive headspace from minute one.
It’s been proven time and time again that happy employees are more productive employees.
Companies that offer employees the ability to work remotely can expect to save on costs for things like office space, hardware refreshes, parking, and are also able to do their part for the environment - simply because there aren’t people commuting to the office. (See our post “Feeling guilty about the environment - telecommute”)
With simple, and readily available VPN and remote desktop technologies, as well as communications strategies like Planet Telecom’s Compello IP Centrex services, almost any organization can quickly, easily, and cost effectively deploy a remote worker strategy. These solutions offer the employee the ability to have virtual office presence - they’re on the same network for data via the VPN, and their phones (actual phones, by the way - not just software based phones) carry their local numbers, extensions and features no matter where they are.
For example, we have users who have local Edmonton numbers, but are living (and working) in Panama. They’re able to manage their work days, communicate with their clients (who are here in Edmonton) and to those clients it’s no different than if they were sitting here in Edmonton chained to a desk.
While you might not be deploying a program to get your workforce to the beach, you can certainly examine the benefits of allowing them to work remotely on a semi regular basis.
They’ll be happier, healthier, more productive, and if nothing else your organization could easily save enough to spring for some coconut beverages on your next corporate retreat.
If this all sounds great to you - why not drop us a line? We can most certainly help you out with a remote worker strategy, and can walk you through deploying an IP based communications solution that will allow you to start saving in no time.
Our toll free number is 1-866-296-7771 - we hope to hear from you soon!
Planet Telecom - It’s just BETTER.