Monday, March 16, 2009

In Numbers Too Large To Ignore

We are telecommuters, hear us roar! Rawr.

But seriously, folks, ZDNet just published a nice little summary of a much larger forecast of telecommuting produced by Forrester Research, and the numbers they project are kind of exciting. Based on their research, they project as many as 63 million telecommuters of one type or another by 2016. (By the way, that's only seven years away for the futurists out there.)

I think that's swell. The more, the merrier -- in this case you will have actually merrier employees if you figure out how to support telecommuting and get them working at home more often. The post also has some good action items. One I really like:

Find the pockets of telecommuting support in your organization and create a collaboration environment for managers to support each other. There are real issues for a remote workforce around onboarding new employees, managing a younger workforce, establishing clear key performance indicators, learning how to manage by objective, and the like. The experienced managers in your organization can help each other with collaboration like wikis, training, and portal resources.
This is so very true. Often, telecommuting programs spring up sui generis when you have a committed manager who's doing what it takes to keep a key staff member. They figure it out and make it work, and then maybe a few more people get involved. But rooting out the pockets of remote workers and managers and connecting them with each other will help you make the most of their collective knowledge.

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