By Travis Pierce, Xerox virtual office program director
The average person’s first thoughts on the benefits of telecommuting often include working in your pajamas or avoiding a long commute, but the upside goes far beyond casual attire and less time in traffic.
At Xerox, more than 8,000 employees work remotely 100 percent of the time. Thousands of other employees have telecommuting options “as needed”. Forbes recently interviewed Xerox, along with Dell and Atena, because we’re recognized as one of the most forward-thinking and progressive companies when it comes to offering telecommuting options.
In the Forbes article, “Five Things You Need to Know about Telecommuting,” we discuss telecommuting as a business strategy and not just an employee perk. Sure, telecommuting flexibility can improve employee morale and facilitate a better work/life balance, but it also allows companies to work with top talent, regardless of where they are or what time zone they might be in.
There are sustainability benefits behind telecommuting as well. Annually, Xerox teleworkers drive 92 million fewer miles, saving 4.6 million gallons of gas, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 41,000 metric tons and saving over $10 million. That means telecommuting is good for business and the environment.
Telecommuting perks have reached government agencies as well, with more and more federal employees working out telework agreements. Even our Commander in Chief recognized the benefits telecommuting can bring, signing an executive order to ensure flexible work options are available and to make federal employees aware that they have the right to request such flexibility.
A recent FedTech article says telecommuting can actually help avoid substantial productivity loss when physical offices are shut down due to weather or other unforeseen reasons. Agencies also realize other benefits such as reduced office space requirements and increased retention rates.
The technology that allows seamless telecommuting is available as well through virtual private networks (VPN) or other encrypted connections that allow access to information from a remote location. Other secure technologies like WebEx and Lync make it easier to stay connected for work as well. For added security at Xerox, all personal computers use full disk encryption. Xerox employees working from home typically use a secure Voice Over IP phone system that secures voice communications as well.
Read the full article, “Five Things You Need to Know about Telecommuting,” at Forbes.