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Poll: Does your company understand the benefits of remote work programs?

Poll: Does your company understand the benefits of remote work programs? Or is your company still stuck in the dark ages?

In the not-too-distant past, a manager's job was to make sure that what was perceived to be a lazy, shifty workforce was actually doing their job. There were strict rules about when, what, and where a job was to be done. However, and thankfully, these attitudes are changing. Remote-work programs are finding their way into more and more workplaces with measureable results in terms of productivity.

According to a Microsoft Telework survey of 3,600 employees in 36 cities nationwide, 60 percent say they are actually more productive and efficient when working remotely. Respondents said that with less time spent commuting and fewer distractions they have more time to spend on their assigned tasks. The problem, based on the responses, is that only 41 percent of the companies in the survey even have remote-work policies.

A recent series on National Public Radio (NPR) focused on flexible work environments and the benefits some employees and their employers are enjoying by the development of remote-work programs. The series gave several examples of how these programs promote productivity and healthier, happier employees. One part of the series examined a workplace philosophy known as a "results-only work environment."

Poll

But do the concepts of remote work, flexible schedules, and results-only work environments have a place in the universe of information technology professionals? How flexible is your company? Can you work remotely effectively? Do you work remotely on a regular basis? What technologies are deployed to help make remote work a possibility?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

9 comments
jck
jck

My company has a way to allow remote work, but only if you are infirmed and can't come to the office. Seems they don't understand the benefits of letting staff whose work allows them to utilize work-from-home to save them on energy, space, equipment, and loss of productivity. I've suggested work from home made me a better worker when I got to utilize it, but it seems that management here likes to have their thumb on people.

groobiecat
groobiecat

There are many remote employees, and I'm one of them. I've managed 500-page proposals from home, and get at least 30 - 40% more done from home. But corporations are inherently conservative and "butts in seats" is still what the old guard (especially those who don't know how projects work "on the ground") thinks equals productivity. One of the key problems is lack of a coherent, consistently applied approach to remote project management, and what's required of remote team members. Issues such as availability via phone, IM, email, videoconference, and communications requirements, such as meetings--but periodic and ad hoc--and escalation chains have not been addressed.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

If I don't need to be in the office, I don't have to be here. Basically as long as I get done what I need to get done, my boss doesn't care. I work my ass off both in the office and at home, but I tend to find I get more done at home. With that being said, the idea of a central office will not, and should not, go away. The reason behind this is that knowledge transfer is far easier if I walk into the office and talk to people, than trying to get everyone together on the phone. Things are changing for the better in IT and hopefully more companies start to realize that it doesn't matter if I'm in the office or at home, just that I get the work completed.

jimmeq
jimmeq

This is a no brainer. Work from home cuts car emmissions, traffic flow, saves gas, saves the company on utilities, etc., etc.. I work for a NYS agency. If 10% of our State employees could work from home at least one day per week, the savings to the State would be tremendous. But, as politics go...they would rather cut the education budget. As long as our VPN box is working there is nothing I can't do from home remotely that I can do in the office.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

But do the concepts of remote-work, flexible schedules, and results-only work environments have a place in the universe of information technology professionals? How flexible is your company? Can you work remotely effectively? Do you work remotely on a regular basis? What technologies are deployed to help make remote work a possibility?

psmccright
psmccright

We track their contribution to the company the same way we track office worker's. They log their calls and times in the customer database. They also log events with time against our compnay for training, research, testing, etc. We have policies where "office" emplyees can also work from home if needed. I find that I can get a lot done when working from home without the office distractions.

rjcirtwell
rjcirtwell

I work for a small bank in NYS and I'm facing a simular situation. I'm having a problem convincing my top level that remote work is real work. No comp time to be given because I can "work in my underwear and drink beer". Just imagine what my network would look like if I did that. You would think that one day a week would be a no-brainer for state workers that can do this. Yet I haven't heard David Patterson nor any member of the legislature suggest it.

marie.truman
marie.truman

Not here. Consultants are even discouraged, I've heard: "If I have to come in to work every day, they need to come in to work. Otherwise I am not able to tell if they are really working."

BlazNT2
BlazNT2

We are not allowed to work from home kind of. Let me explain. I have to come in during regular hours but must also be on call from home and remote to work to fix problems. As far as getting paid for the work from home. That is a completely different discussion.

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