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Remote Working Helps Drive Corporate Success
Telecommuting is a key factor driving corporate success resulting in reduced costs and increased employee productivity, according to The Remote Working Revolution, a 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.)
"Telework arrangements— by their very nature— encourage managers to pay special attention to employee productivity," says Joseph Roitz, AT&T's director of teleworking.
"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 telecommuting work
Telecommuting policies require careful planning and ongoing monitoring by managers to work effectively, according to the report, which offers practical advice for companies looking to introduce effective telecommuting strategies including:
- Carry out an audit throughout the company to find out which jobs are suitable for remote working.
- HR, IT and facilities management needs to be brought together to manage a remote working program effectively.
- Engage the support of departmental managers. They are often the sticking point for telecommuting programs, as they perceive it as a threat to their control.
- Avoid hasty implementation. The technology and HR issues must have been fully resolved or the program will flounder. Maintaining a distinct corporate culture among a dispersed workforce also needs careful consideration.
- Security in the form of a virtual private network (VPN) is recommended.
- Consider offering to finance home office equipment and to pay for monthly broadband charges.
- Ensure that interaction between managers and remote workers is sustained and includes regular appraisals. A remote working program cannot succeed if this is overlooked.