Telecommuting and BYOD Will Grow Even Faster

Carl Weinschenk
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Best Practices for Teleconferencing with Employees Working Remotely

Change happens gradually, but, before you know it, what was a small trend or trickle is far better established. It will become the predominant way in which things are done or, at the least, one of a relatively few choices.

That continuum comes to mind when reading a couple of stories – about telecommuting and bring your own device (BYOD) – that were posted in Baseline and Datamation, respectively, this week.

The two topics are closely related, of course. In a general sense, they deal with the relationship between employee and employer. More specifically, somebody working at home is more likely to use their own equipment than those reporting to an office. Thus, BYOD is a big deal – the person only is “bringing” the device down the hall to the home office.

Baseline’s story reports on the third annual Telework Week Report, which is authored by Cisco, the Mobile Work Exchange and Citrix Systems. The study points to a 91 percent increase in “pledges” to use telework this year over last. The greatest increase was in the Washington, D.C., area, where there was a 95 percent increase compared to last year. That alone, the story notes, reduced commuter trips by 392,420.

The piece – which uses Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s negativity toward telecommuting as a counterpoint – essentially goes through the numbers. The conclusion is upbeat, at least from the perspective of telecommuting proponents:

These gains, as well as cost savings for employers, are encouraging management to significantly expand telework programs, the Mobile Work Exchange reports. In 2011, about 60 percent of managers were receptive to the concept. Today, that figure has shot past 66 percent.

Mayer has a partner in skepticism in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though an IDC study says the practice leads to growth. This is how The Wall Street Journal sums up IDC’s report:

Businesses that allowed employees to work remotely at least three times a month were more likely to log revenue growth of at least 10% within the last 12 months, compared with firms without such policies.

Of course, there is a bit of a chicken-and-egg issue here: Are those gains due to the telecommuting itself, or are the firms likely to allow such an arrangement simply more progressive and therefore more likely to thrive? A good look at IDC’s research will probably go a long way toward answering that question.

The Datamation piece on BYOD covers a Gartner study that said that almost half of organizations will adopt a “full scale” program by 2017 and, in doing so, “will no longer provide computing devices to employees.” The story is a compilation of the coverage of Gartner’s work at PCWorld, eWeek and V3. Together, the three sites recount Gartner’s results.

It ends with an excerpt from the initial press release, which says that while BYOD is gaining traction across the board, it is most popular in midsize and large enterprises. The release also says that companies in the United States are twice as likely to implement BYOD as those in Europe. India, China and Brazil are the hottest areas for BYOD, the release says.

So BYOD is the wave of the future – and the present. CMSWire points to five reasons that this is good news. They generally focus on employee empowerment and the fact that, if done correctly, it lightens the load on IT.

Telecommuting and BYOD of course are two of the major trends of the past few years. It is clear that they are here to stay – and to grow.


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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 9, 2013 6:03 PM SMADIUK SMADIUK  says:
There are PLENTY of tools now to make remote collaboration a breeze, much more so than even five years ago. Dropbox, Google Docs, Google Hangouts, Skype, screen sharing like Join.me, productivity measurement tools like MySammy, remote time card iPhone apps, the good ol' fashioned Terminal Server or GotomyPC. Not to mention with smartphones and Blackberries, people are almost always at the employers' beck and call anyway. Considering studies show that most telecommuters put in more hours of work than office staff, maybe one day employees will all be longing for the days when they could actually leave work at work Reply
May 29, 2013 11:20 AM Seth Seth  says:
Telecommuting is definitely here to stay and the best we can do is go with the flow and take advantage of it. Managing remote employee workloads is a little different from the office but modern technology offers many resources that make it possible to telecommute and keep your business running smoothly. As long as your remote employee is equipped with all the essential tools needed to work from home, both the company and the individual will benefit. Reply

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