Successful Corporate Telecommuting with Technology Considerations for Late Adopters

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This article extracts the key learning points from a decade of corporate experience in the use of telecommuting. It then provides an overview, for executives who are seriously considering the implementation of telecommuting, of the state-of-the-art techniques that are required in the implementation of a progressive system. Telecommuting enables employees to perform assigned duties at alternative work sites, often geographically convenient to, or at, their homes. In 2006, the number of telecommuting employees in the United States who worked remotely at least one day per month reached 28.7 million workers. The companies that employ these workers have found that telecommuting increases their attractiveness as employers, decreases operating costs, increases operationality during a crisis, contributes to their green programs, and increases employee productivity. The challenges confronting companies that undertake telecommuting are discussed; including the difficulty of managing telecom-reuters' performance, and the worry that, without face-to-face motivation and close supervision, physically separated workers will underperform. For corporate executives and new venture managers who want to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of telecommuting, this article overviews the major technology considerations. The connectivity discussion covers high bandwidth Internet connections, virtual private network, and thin client technology. Under the topic of information sharing, content sharing and file sharing, the most popular collaboration services will be covered. Finally, instant messaging, audio conferencing, and web conferencing will be covered as facilitators of communication. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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