Bob Milliken



Are you the owner of a small or medium sized business that is thinking about implementing a “work from home” program for your employees and managers? You should be because working from home is a fast-growing trend among SMEs that is drastically increasing productivity, cutting costs, and driving more profit to the bottom line.
Telecommuting is a fancy word for allowing employees to work from home, in remote offices, or while on the road. While this is not a new concept, recent advancements in remote access technology, security, and the introduction of Cloud Computing, have made it very affordable and easy for even micro business owners.

Why would a business want to do this? Some businesses are being forced to because they’ve run out of office space or to accommodate “road warriors.” But many are doing it for these reasons…
• Business owners (and key managers) working 60+ hours a week are using it as a way to continue working after hours and on weekends from the convenience of their home office.
• Allowing employees to work from home means businesses can cut back on office space, lowering rent and utility bills. Not only is this lowering overhead, but it’s making for happier employees who no longer have to fill their gas tanks.
• Telecommuting actually increases employee productivity, lowers stress levels, and improves retention. Contrary to what you may believe, employees who work from home tend to work more, not less. Because the computer is right there in their home, they will often put in extra hours during the evening and on weekends when they normally wouldn’t be able to access the network. Plus, employees working on detailed programs, graphics, and projects tend to get more done when they don’t have to deal with office distractions.
• Some companies are allowing their employees to work from home two or three days out of a week instead of giving them a raise – a bonus many will gladly take over more money. This also works well if you have limited office space because employees can rotate desk usage.
•It allows you to keep great employees that need or want to relocate, need to stay home to take care of a sick family member, or who are sick, injured, pregnant, or otherwise unable to physically come into the office.
Telecommuting has grown at a steady 3% per year for more than 15 years. Currently, more than 25 million North Americans are working from home at least one day a week. The increase in teleworking programs is no accident – it really IS working.
Of course, telecommuting might not be right for every employee on staff, but it is a great option (and reward) for key managers or employees who are self-motivated and measured by results rather than hours worked.
If you are considering a ‘Work for Home’ program be sure to get professional assistance with expertise in setting up and managing remote networks to ensure that you don’t compromise the security and integrity of your company data. Your comments are appreciated –

Bob Milliken is the president of Cascadia Systems Group.