Remote Working Increases Sharply According
To AT&T Global Survey Of Senior Executives

Two Thirds Say Their Employees Telecommute

A strong swing has taken place in favor of remote working over the last 12 months, according to a new survey and report on networking and business strategy from AT&T in co-operation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). EIU is the research arm of the Economist magazine.

Two-thirds of executives surveyed said that at least some of their staff work from home regularly, a substantial increase from the same survey conducted a year earlier. The survey underscores that telecommuting is a key factor driving corporate success resulting in reduced costs and increased employee productivity.

Telecommuting is uppermost in most executives’ minds when drawing up their technology strategies: 81 percent of them said that giving remote workers full access to the corporate network is a “critical” or “important” objective.

Broadband access and voice over IP (VoIP) are two crucial enablers of telecommuting from home, and, according to the report, adoption of both technologies is skyrocketing. The 2004 AT&T/Economist Intelligence Unit survey reveals that, in the case of 46 percent of companies, broadband access is now installed in the homes of half or more of the workforce, up from just 27 percent in 2003. Moreover, this proportion is set to leap to 70 percent in 2006.

“The benefits that remote working can bring - such as lower costs and increased productivity - combined with technology drivers such as increased broadband penetration and the coming of age of Voice over IP, mean that remote working is no longer just an option for business but has become an essential part of the networking toolbox,” said Kathleen Flaherty, AT&T chief marketing officer.

Strategies to make telcommuting work
Telecommuting policies require careful planning and ongoing monitoring by managers to work effectively, according to the survey. The report offers practical advice for companies looking to introduce effective telecommuting strategies including:

"Telework arrangements - by their very nature - encourage managers to pay special attention to employee productivity,” says Joseph Roitz, AT&T’s director of teleworking. AT&T itself has successfully embraced remote working, and the most recent figures show the company benefits from $180 million per year in operational savings from the policy. Most of this is due to increased productivity ($148 million), and savings in real-estate costs ($34 million). The percentage of AT&T managers who telecommute full-time in a “Virtual Office” increased to 22 percent during 2003, more than doubling since 2001.

More information on the report is available at or click here for the full white paper, “The Remote Working Revolution” in pdf format.