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Remote Working for Capital Region Businesses

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Remote Working for Capital Region Businesses
by Randy Stuckless, Microsoft

Microsoft recently commissioned a remote working survey to understand how information workers are (or could be) using remote working technologies to alleviate the business challenges created by the tough economic landscape. The survey polled nearly 4,000 individuals nationwide who use a computer to perform 75 percent or more of their duties.

Study Highlights

  • Employers are less supportive of remote working programs.
  • Employees identify commuting avoidance and productivity of environment as benefits
  • Most employees (63%) nationwide still do not use the option to work remotely

42% of Northeast businesses have a formal policy allowing employees to work remotely (from home or away from the office), but…

74% of Northeast employees would prefer to regularly work from home

Some of the reasons include work/home balance (60%), avoiding traffic (47%) and less work distractions (36%)

Places where employees have conducted business when working remotely?

Family vacation – 38%, Coffee shop – 27%, Plane in flight – 22%, Doctor's office – 19%, Park – 10%, Bathroom – 7%, Grocery store – 6%

Benefits of Remote Working for Businesses

  • Telecommuting is a win-win for employers, employees and the environment, and for employees, the primary incentive is control and flexibility.
  • Fewer distractions mean more stuff gets done. Tasks take less time when you're not being constantly interrupted by coworkers.
  • Commuting less means spending less.  Based on the average American's commute time, driving speed, and vehicle specs — and assuming that gas costs $3 per gallon — a telecommuter would save around $900 a year on fuel alone — an instant salary bump, of sorts.
  • According to a study conducted by Penn State University, contrary to popular belief that face time at the office is essential for good work relationships, telecommuters' relationships with their managers and coworkers does not suffer from telecommuting. Managers who oversaw telecommuters reported that the telecommuters' performance was not negatively affected by working from home. Furthermore, those who telecommuted reported that they did not believe their careers were likely to suffer from working outside of the office.

Suggested Technologies

  • Cloud computing can provide a secure remote working technology infrastructure based on the Internet.
  • Unified Communications technologies combine IM, voice over Internet protocol, voice, telepresence, videoconferencing and message delivery to a broad range of devices.
  • Smartphones enable individuals to work seamlessly between the office and any remote location.

Resources

  • Microsoft Unified Communications Cost Savings Calculator:

http://www.microsoft.com/uc/en/us/uc-calculator.aspx

  • Microsoft Business Resource Center:

http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/hub.mspx

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