Telecommuting is a hot-button issue for modern businesses. Some believe it to be a killer of productivity and company culture and have outright banned it. Others embrace fully flexible work styles, designing entire workspaces around employees that come and go at will.
Many businesses, however, find themselves in the middle. They’ve begun embracing some of the benefits telecommuting can provide, thanks in large part to increased mobility: smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, web conferencing, etc. But they may not have established formal policies and guidelines governing telecommuting, either because they take a more relaxed approach to the matter or they simply haven’t had the time to create one.
This got me thinking—is telecommuting policy a sign of success?
Collaboration is the Path to Growth
I firmly believe that effective business collaboration is the key to growth. Every aspect of your business—sales, marketing, HR, finance, operations, IT—interacts across departmental boundaries and with external vendors and partners every single day.
Forward-thinking businesses already know what I know about collaboration: it doesn’t just happen in conference rooms anymore. Globalization has brought partners together from all over the world that would never have done business together just a few years ago, and online meetings are the new face-to-face.
This tectonic work shift and the technology powering it makes telecommuting practically an inevitability. A successful business will address these needs head on, with policies in place to empower its workers to work when and where they need to in order to thrive in the new global economy.
Your Workers Are Already on the Move
As a matter of fact, today’s worker is already mobile, relying on multiple devices to get their work done on a daily basis. And tomorrow’s worker will be even more so: by 2015, there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers worldwide. 1.3 billion salespeople, HR professionals, IT specialists and marketers—all empowered by technology to be productive whenever, wherever and however they choose.
A company that has established a telecommuting policy shows a commitment to the needs, wants and work styles of a modern worker by fully embracing collaboration. Phenomena like BYOD are undeniable proof that workers are savvier than ever before, and ready to embrace technology in the workplace. Anytime, anywhere work is becoming the new normal, and only the businesses that plan and prepare for it will thrive in the years to come.
Today’s workforce is hungry for mobility. Will your business give it to them, or will the top talent land on your competitor’s doorstep?
Agree or disagree? I want to hear from you – follow me on Twitter and let’s discuss.
What type of telecommuter are you? Download PGi’s latest eBook, “7 Telecommuting Personalities” to find out!