The office as we know it is no longer the office weve come to know. Constantly
changing, it no longer means three walls, a desk and a leather-back chair (if
youre lucky). Nowadays, the office is no more than where youve grounded
your computer for the moment, whether its in the bedroom, the living room,
your car or even an airplane.
This transformation from the office to the home is at the heart of telecommuting.
The trend will be further fueled by the coming ubiquity of the Internet, improved
technologies for communicating and fundamental changes in the nature of work,
according to American Demographics Magazine.
Look around the typical downtown office and you'll find something missing
workers. Once a mecca for 9-to-5ers, todays office buildings are slimming
and trimming as more and more workers opt to work partially or fully from their
homes. Take a look at these numbers:
||The number of telecommuters has increased 30
percent in the last year, reaching 6.88 million in total, according to InfoBeads
Technology User Profile Study.
||American Demographics magazine predicts
that by 2005, at least 25 percent of the American workforce will be telecommuters
or home office workers.
||The LA Times estimates that 18 million
telecommuters will have worked from home at least once per month in 1999.
||Two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies currently
have telecommuting programs, half of which were instituted in the past two
years. Nearly 60 percent of executives from companies without programs expect
to institute one within the next three years, according to TELEWORKanalytics
Clearly telecommuting is growing and improvements in telecommunication services
are making telecommuting a viable and attractive option for employees and employers
alike. Ease of access over the Internet and its use as a collaborative vehicle
make teleworking less of a concept and more of a possibility for workers.
Here are some reasons why people are jumping
on the telework bandwagon:
How much time do you spend commuting back and forth to work sitting in
traffic, squished in crowded buses and trains, circling for that perfect parking
spot? You might want to reconsider and stay home. The Gartner Group estimates
that telecommuting improves employee productivity by 10 to 40 percent. Heres
1) First of all, take that headache commute
and apply it towards actual work. By some estimates, up to half of the commuting
hours saved by telecommuting employees may be given directly back to the company.
Also, forget about starting late due to travel difficulties such as traffic
accidents, flat tires and tardy trains.
2) Telecommuters also take off less time
because of illness. Employees who dont feel well enough to commute might
be able to work from home, or employees recovering from serious illness might
be able to work at home during recuperative periods.
telecommuting employees can more easily cope with personal family matters. Its
easier to make arrangements to cover school closings, care for minor family
illness, make household repairs and wait for services by outside contractors
when working from home.
For workers, telework means freedom and flexibility. Todays workers demand
these things and the responsive employer whos looking to attract and retain
top talent provides a teleworking program.
According to American Demographics Magazine, teleworkers can increase
their number of free hours in a day, even if they end up working longer hours
overall. This improved work/life balance raises employee morale and reduces
stress. In fact, a recent study of 250 workers by the International Telework
Association & Council showed that 75 percent of telecommuters experienced
decreased levels of stress since working from home.
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