Monday, November 24, 2008

The Economy Needs Shut-Ins

This article from PCWorld notes that the bad economy may be good for the spreading of telecommuting. As you might imagine, Stella agrees wholeheartedly. In times when giving people raises may be downright impossible, giving them telecommuting instead is a great way to reward high performers with a benefit that improves their lives in both tangible and intangible ways.

The tangible: reduced commuting costs, more productivity, saving the company money on lighting and heating (Potentially: If you send everyone home for a work at home day on the same day, you can turn off the heat and the lights; if you stagger the days you may not notice the same impact as you do with one big day. And you should make your mass-work-at-home-day Wednesday, to counteract the potential three-day-weekend-effect that you might notice you did such a thing on a Monday or Friday.).

The intangible: feeling like your employer really trusts you and values you, getting to be a part of this cool remote working movement, less of your time lost to commuting. These are good things.

I also think that business gets a big advantage in tough times by having the tools of telecommuting already tried and tested by their telecommuters. Suddenly nobody wants to spend the money to put people on planes to do a two hour demo of the software. Tapping into the network of experienced online meeting-holders to teach their Real Office colleagues how to use those tools is a great way to save that travel money. Soon, nobody will have to go anywhere, and we'll all just meet from the comfort of our desks, whether that desk is in a Real Office or in the spare room.

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