Several years ago during one of our weekly staff meetings, one of my staff members shared with us that his commute to the office is getting longer and longer and more frustrating each day due to the various construction projects, road repairs, volume of traffic, accidents, gasoline costs, as well as other reasons and requested that he start working from home a couple of days a week. I was horrified and stunned! What kind of a request is this? How can he work from home and produce the same results that he produces in the office? How are we going to communicate? What about all the tools required to perform his job? Eventually I decided to give it a shot and granted his request on the condition that we re-evaluate after three months – after all I was sure that this will never work!
Fast forward to 2017…..we are now in the age of telecommuting. What is that you ask? Well, the traditional business of driving to the office, sitting at your desk or cubical between the hours of 9:00 – 5:00 are fading away very quickly. In the United Stated as an example there are 53 million people today working as freelancers and 45% of employees work from home. To top it all off 34% of today’s business leaders believe that over half of their company’s full time employees will be working remotely by the year 2020. Think about that for a moment….as farfetched as it may seem, it is more than doable – so why not? The employment landscape is changing faster than we can blink an eye. We are able to access information from anywhere in the world – internet, skype, cloud, wi-fi, GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, as well as many different devices enabling us to share information, creating an easier collaboration, as well as effective and efficient time management.
Bottom Line: As a business owner, I realize today that this staff member predicted the future way of our current employment world, and I am glad that I granted his request. Working from home is becoming more and more a reality – even I enjoy it from time to time. I have come to recognize that this reality brings with it many benefits for both employees and employers. So stay tuned to part II which will explore the advantages and disadvantages of working from home.
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