Telecommuting: A Tool for Saving Money

Patrick Avery

Telecommuting has gained popularity among many businesses over the last two years because of the escalating price of gasoline and travel. Now that gas prices have stabilized somewhat, has telecommuting lost some of its luster?


That answer is, arguably, no. With cash-depleted companies looking to cut costs in a poor economy, telecommuting is still relevant. IT Business Edge contributor Michael Stevens has written a Telecommuting IT Checklist examining the business benefits of telecommuting, thus helping IT managers "cover all the bases" for telecommuting arrangements when a designated work space at home replaces a conventional work space in an office building.


IT managers can have two different levels of involvement in telecommuting. Some will provide IT support for telecommuters in other departments-which is no small challenge. Others will be implementing telecommuting in the IT department itself, which means dealing with a whole range of management issues, from determining who will participate to ensuring that legal requirements are met. But the rewards of a telecommuting program can be immense.


The checklist argues that four primary benefits are gained from telecommuting.


  • Lower costs. Companies can save money on leasing costs, furniture and maintenance.
  • Higher productivity. There is plenty of evidence that telecommuters in many job categories are more productive working at home.
  • Access to a larger labor pool. Telecommuters can be located anywhere, making it easier to recruit for hard-to-fill positions.
  • Environmental benefits. Because it reduces the number of cars on the road, telecommuting is a green business practice that reduces a company's carbon footprint.


With those benefits in mind, the checklist then lists hardware, software and communication needs, security issues and employer agreements and rules.


Though telecommuting can be a plus, one has to wonder about telecommuting concerns.


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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Feb 17, 2009 5:29 PM aullman aullman  says:

Home telecommuting is one, (but not the only telecommuting option).  Workers who don't have adequate facilities at home, might want to check out a remote office.  Remote Office Centers lease individual offices, internet and phone systems to workers from different companies in shared centers located around the city and suburbs.

Remote Offices provide the best of traditional offices and telecomuting.  They provide a higher level of infrastructure and "structure" for workers who prefer working from an office, but don't want to spend all day commuting back and forth to work.

Feb 18, 2009 12:34 PM Patrick Avery Patrick Avery  says: in response to aullman

Thanks for your comment, aullman. I imagine these remote centers are very helpful in big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York where traffic is heavy. But do they work as well in smaller cities where the ride to work is probably no more than 30 minutes for most people?


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