How to make telecommuting a win for employers & workers

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an interesting article up about teleworking at the potential benefits to employers.

In it, they showcase the Virginia Department of Taxation, who recently made a move to digitize their offices by sending certain employees home kitted out for telework.

The move saved them over $130,000 annually in rent, utilities, and other costs, though it is not without its up-front caveats:

There is an initial outlay of money. Your company will have to outfit teleworkers with whatever is needed to perform their job at home, for example:

A personal computer, a laptop and docking station, a business phone line, shredder, fax, printer, copier, Internet service and office supplies. Also, it has to assure that its computer system has “layer after layer” of security and the ability to apply patches to protect from viruses, Bowen said.

I’ve always been a huge advocate of the work-from home model, and it’s nice to see companies embracing it as well. I feel that with the right gear, there’s nothing you can’t do from home that you could do in an office.

Obviously it’s not the ideal solution for every company, but in these tough economic times, it seems like a move more should consider before resorting to layoffs (or, heaven forbid, buying fewer office supplies.)

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