Of course, telecommuting requires planning, and it might not be right for every position at every company. There are also still misconceptions as to its potential value as some business leaders fret that their employees will goof off if they're not under constant in-office surveillance. And from the employee side, there's fear of being overlooked and forgotten when promotion opportunities come around.
Rightfully so, companies also still have security concerns. Without the proper equipment and training, an employee's home system can be hacked or stolen, which can be disastrous, as evidenced by the numerous laptop thefts we've seen in recent years.
The good news is, the potential cost (and environmental) savings and benefits are compelling, and we're at a place technologically where more companies can, and should, explore telecommuting programs. And there's an abundance of resources out there to help you get started.
Some of my favorite telecommuting resources follow:
- The Clean Air Council
- It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air, a U.S. Department of Transportation program
- Best Work Places for Commuters, a voluntary business-government program that provides recognition and resources for employers offering commuter benefits and telework programs. The BWC site, among other resources, has an online calculator to estimate the financial, environmental, traffic-related, and other benefits of joining the organization's program.
- The Canadian Telework Association, a non-profit telework association dedicated to promoting telework in Canada. (It has resources and data applicable to non-Canadian organizations as well.)
- State-By-State Congestion Reduction Links, provided by the Federal Highway Administration
- ITAC, the Telework Advisory Group for WorldatWork
What do you think about telecommuting? Does your company do it? Why or why not?