It appears that any time a medical crisis, for example, a SARS or swine flu outbreak, occurs, people try to find a way to be at work, without actually showing up.
Turns out that these ways of staying connected -- video and Web conferencing, telecommuting -- can save businesses lots of money and save employees gas money and wasted time in traffic.
Right now, there is buzz around telepresence, which some people see as the next logical stage in the evolution of remote multi-location meetings, says IT Business Edge contributor Carl Weinschenk, who recently wrote on the topic. Particularly in the midst of an economic downturn.
"Telepresencewas not really a mission-critical application until certain things tipped it or created an inflection point. That inflection point is here," says Joe Laezza, president and co-CEO of service provider Glowpoint. "We see it becoming a mission-critical tool, where historically it has been a nice-to-have tool."
For those looking for an non-traditional way of working, resources are available in the Knowledge Network that address telecommuting.
This Telecommuting Calculator provides a quick approximation of your savings opportunity. It is based on a business model where employees who previously worked at your facility now work at home on a full-time basis, with only occasional visits.
In addition, this Telecommuting IT Checklist helps IT managers prepare for the details that need to be addressed when a designated work space at home replaces a conventional work space in an office building.