Telework/Commuting Alternatives

How often have you asked yourself, “is there a way for me or my staff to work without commuting?” Well, the simple answer to that question is “YES” through teleworking. Teleworking is taking work to the worker, wherever he or she may be.

Telework is not limited to a home office. People who work from their automobile, from hotel rooms on the road or even while waiting at the airport for a flight are considered “mobile workers” who are teleworking. If a worker is staying connected to the office with a laptop or smartphone, they are considered teleworking. Telework can be any job or task that can be completed independently, supported by appropriate hardware, software, telecommunications equipment and office supplies.

Teleworking has many benefits. Teleworkers may be able to limit or avoid rush hour traffic, which gets one more car off the road. This can enhance air quality by idling fewer cars in traffic.  Productivity can improve, absenteeism can be reduced and the geographic range of a job can be increased. These days with all the devices available and improvements in technology, it is easy to run a successful teleworking program.

Ways to Telework

Work at Home 
Working from home is looked at as one of the most popular forms of telework. Employees can work in a home office or some other in-home workspace one or more days per week, conducting business functions much as they would in an office setting. 

Virtual Office Mobile Worker 
An airport, hotel, car or even a table can be a work place for the growing number of "mobile workers". Employees who are on the road using technology to link them to customers, the office or suppliers are considered teleworkers. Many airports have areas for business travelers to conduct business, plug in and charge up. Most hotels offer Business Centers which can include internet connected computers, printing, copying and more.

Satellite Office 
A satellite office is a workspace that is owned or leased solely for the use of an organization's employees. The satellite office is usually located in an area where there is a high concentration of workers living. Employees from several departments can work in the same location and share expenses one or more times per week.

Neighborhood Work Center 
A neighborhood work center is a remote facility shared by employees from several companies. The advantages neighborhood work centers offer are numerous. Offices can be located in areas where high concentrations of employees live and resources can be shared among several companies.

Teleworkers in well-managed programs have a chance to make independent decisions, solve problems and demonstrate the kinds of skills and traits sought when looking to promote an employee. Employees can telework as little as one day a week or as many as five days, though three days seems to be the optimum in order to sustain office relationships and business contacts. 

Teleworking is a very effective method to meet company's profitability concerns. When considering implementation of a telework program, consider that telework fosters increased productivity, reduces workspace needs and increases employee retention and/or recruitment.