We talk about economical slow-downs, we talk about the environment, we talk about innovation, but we’re overlooking the most obvious, immediately available solution to all these problems:
We are supposed to be operating in a global business community but we can’t let go of the cubicle, or the hours every day in highway hell. In Canada only 10% of Canadians telework, in the U.S. it’s 15%. The average Canadian spends 288 hours every year commuting to work, the average American, 100.
We’ll email the person sitting next to us – we’ll hear about company updates on the blog – we’ll have access to all company records through an online database – but we’re still to nervous to trust employees to work from home – even after study after study has shown that telecommuters are actually more productive then their in-house counterparts.
Many managers are still under the false impression that employees will only work if they are being watched. Well, from the amount of chainletters that arrive via Facebook daily, I can pretty much guarantee that they’re not working while they’re being watched. But companies like Intel, who have 50% of their 85,000 workers telecommuting, have shown hat a progressive, productive workforce is the result of happy, motivated people. And who wouldn’t be happy and motivated, not spending entire days of their lives in their cars, not spending a small fortune in gas, and having that extra time to use for both work and fun?
Companies that work with telecommuters are reaping the benefits, they’re saving thousands in office rent and overhead, they’re attracting a highly qualified workforce, they’re finding the right person for the job, not just the closest, and they’re keeping 10’s of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the air.
But don’t just take my word for it, here’s an excellent report from The Globe and Mail , and great resources from Innovisions Canada . The future, both near and far, is not going to be dominated by modular desks and matching grey carpet in concrete office towers. Any company who’s not looking towards telecommuting, is not looking towards staying competitive.