Remote workers rejoin the water cooler gang, virtually -- WhichVoIP founder says recent moves by a few major IT firms to ban telecommuting miss the mark; new technology erases boundaries between work and office
Seattle, WA -- The recent move by Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer to ban telecommuting has caused a major disruption in business leadership, causing some to question the broader trend of going outside the brick-and-mortar boundary of the office. According to WhichVoIP founder and telecom analyst Calum McKinnon though, Mayer's proclamation is an isolated one, and the era of pajama-based workers is here to stay.
"Mayer's decision is based on a misconception about teleworking, VoIP, and other telepresence technologies," said McKinnon. "The first and second waves of technologies that enabled telecommuting were limited, and Yahoo's criticism of the practice would be valid if compared to telecommuting tech even just a few years ago. But today, available technology erases those brick-and-mortar boundaries, allowing for a richer, more complete, and more interactive experience for the remote worker."
The first generation of telecommuters were enabled by basic technologies that allowed for a functional, but not social experience, said McKinnon. That did lead to isolation, and those home-based workers were kept out of the loop. "They got the job done, but they were left out of the water cooler discussions and the social interaction that really make an employee a part of the company culture. The most recent generation of VoIP, telepresence, private social media, and other telecommute-enabling technologies brings those workers back into the corporate family."
Meaningful telecommuting requires more than the ability to log onto a computer from home and send files, according to McKinnon. "Real-time collaboration is essential, as are enhanced technologies such as unified communication, instant messaging, and video conferencing, which are typically based around Internet Protocol rather than the public switched telephone network."
The enabling technology has brought telecommuters back into the social aspect of the workplace. Beyond that, it has also facilitated an essential shift in business models that has been brewing since the onset of the Great Recession. "Lean business models became mainstream during the Recession, when companies were frantically searching for ways to cut costs," said McKinnon. "Because this lean model was simultaneously met with a new generation of enabling technology that made it very efficient, it persisted, even when the Recession ended. The lean model, together with its enabling technology, has solidified remote working as a mainstream, essential, and highly effective part of the workplace."
Looking ahead, McKinnon expects that VoIP and other enabling technologies will continue to bring big changes to the workplace over the next few years, as more companies take advantage of new innovations to continue re-inventing the workplace for the better.
WhichVoIP.com is based in Seattle, Washington and the company consists of experts in the VoIP and telecommunications field. The team members utilize their expertise and knowledge to help consumers understand VoIP technology, and provide comprehensive information to enable consumers to make educated decisions that are appropriate to their needs. Visit http://www.whichvoip.com/ for more information.
Posted: 2013-04-23 @ 11:13pm PT
Telecommuting is here to stay and advances in technology are making it easier than ever before to effectively monitor the work of telecommuters. Yahoo’s decision to ban telework may have been short sighted but many companies, big and small, are more strategic in their approach towards telework. One powerful tool that can help companies design and implement highly effective telework programs is www.TransparentBusiness.com. This powerful web application monitors the activities of teleworkers in real time through screenshots taken every 3 minutes. Automatic time and project tracking features allow managers to see who is logged on at any given time, what project the employee is working on, and what progress the employee is making. This level of transparency creates a culture of accountability and increased productivity.