Computerworld

Why we should ditch the office and work from home

Improving productivity and cutting pollution

In case you missed it there was an extremely comprehensive post on the Oil Drum site the other week about teleworking.

The post struck a particular chord with me as I have been working out of home now since 2004!

The post goes through the pros and cons of teleworking and lists 28 advantages of teleworking. Personally, I love working out of home and at this point I'd find it very hard to going back to working from a central office. Working from home means I can be far more productive. I can (and often do) stay working on long after the typical 9-5 workday.

Apart from the obvious environmental benefits of teleworking, the Oil Drum article mentions many of the advantages of telecommuting for companies including:

• Improves employee satisfaction

• Reduce attrition

• Reduces unscheduled absences

• Increases productivity

• Saves employers money

• Equalizes personalities and reduces potential for discrimination

• Cuts down on wasted meetings

• Increases employee empowerment

• Increases collaboration

• Provides new employment opportunities for the un and under-employed

• Expands the talent pool

• Slows the brain drain due to retiring Boomers

• Reduces staffing redundancies and offers quick scale-up and scale-down options

• Prevents traffic accidents

• Take the pressure off our crumbling transportation infrastructure

• Insures continuity of operations in the event of a disaster

• Improves performance measurement systems

• Offers access to grants and financial incentives

Many large companies are embracing teleworking nowadays for many of the reasons listed above.

Page Break

The telework coalition has an interesting facts page on teleworking which lists details such as:

  • British Telecom, which has 80,000 employees, found productivity rose 31 per cent among its 9,000 teleworkers, due to lack of disruptions, stress and commuting time

  • AT&T found two-thirds of workers offered jobs by competitors remained with the company, citing telework as a major factor in their decision.

The bottom line, according to Dow Chemical: Administrative costs have dropped 50 per cent annually (15 per cent of which was attributed to commercial real estate costs.) Productivity increased by 32.5 per cent (10 per cent through decreased absenteeism, 16 per cent by working at home and 6.5 per cent by avoiding the commute.)

Nortel report that less than 1 per cent of telecommuters want to stop once they have started to telecommute.

April Dunford, Nortel's Director of Business Development, was interviewed recently about her experiences as a teleworker.