Telecommuting: Choice 1, Not Second Choice

Cisco News - Remote Workers Are Happier Workers: Cisco allowing employees to work remotely can yield an uptick in work-life flexibility, individual satisfaction and productivity...... more companies are experimenting with various telecommuting strategies to save costs and retain top talent ....... lets people work together no matter where they are located ......... allowing employees to telecommute and telework has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity ...... voice (PSTN and VoIP), video, data /web collaboration ..... the goodwill allowing employees the remote option generates. ....... “Through voice and video, I remain engaged and able to lead global teams and programs and avoid back and forth trips to the office... juggling early-morning Europe calls, midday doctor’s appointments and evening Asia meetings. ......... true work-life navigation.” ........ Cisco employees spend about 63 percent of their time communicating and collaborating. Forty percent of Cisco employees say they are not located in the same city as their manager, and across the board the average Cisco employee now telecommutes 2.0 days per week. Sixty percent of the time saved by telecommuting is spent working and 40 percent is spent on personal time ........ 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remotely, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved – 67 percent of survey respondents said their overall work quality improved when telecommuting. And Cisco employees reported a fuel cost savings of $10.3 million per year due to telecommuting.
I think the persistent stereotype is that telecommuting is for suckers. You get people into their cubicles if you can. When you can't, you let them telecommute. The problem with that sentiment is that when people are in their cubicles and emailing each other, like it or not, I am going to count that as telecommuting time.

There is a time and place for a phone call, a conference call, and there are times when in-person meetings are the best option, but those times are not always. On the other hand there are some things that can only be done online, they are best done online. How will you share documents with me? How will you collaborate on a document?

Even if I had all my team members in the same town - and if I did, you should get suspiciuos since I am surely not making the best use of the global talent pool - I would want them to work from home most days, and have a weekly party so as to let people get to know each other, engage in team building exercises.

You get to express your individuality in your workspace and your social space. You are more productive that way.

Telecommuting also seems to be the cheaper option. And if workers are happier, is that not a slam dunk?

So instead of building a physical office, why not start out by thinking of telecommuting as the best option, and then going on from there to build the team? Why build a brick office and then hope to dismantle parts of it down the line?

If you still work in a cubicle, that is the case of the naked emperor.

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