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Thinking outside the office.How to use telecommuting to cut costs. During “The Great Recession,” companies In addition to the money saved by not paying looked for new and creative ways to cut costs rent for these workers, being open to recrui- in order to avoid slashing workforce — these ting and hiring remote workers from other included reductions in benefits and compen- geographic areas greatly expands the talent sation packages, forced unpaid vacation time, pool and offers organizations the opportunity job-sharing options and reduced work to find potentially more qualified — and less schedules being assigned. expensive — employees. In addition, measures were taken to reduce real How does it affect productivity? estate and associated facilities management Telecommuting isn’t for everyone — companies costs in the form of consolidation and office and employees alike need to recognize who closings. But, reducing space didn’t necessarily is capable of working independently and who mean reducing workforce. An increasingly will be taking naps on their couch during work attractive option became allowing employees hours. However, for the right employees, tele- to work offsite — otherwise know as telecom- commuting offers flexibility and fewer disruptions muting, e-commuting, working at home (WAH) — two factors that greatly enhance productivity. or becoming Nanobots (Nearly Autonomous, Not in the Office, doing Business in their Own A good telecommuter: Time Staff — a term coined by David Pauleen • Thrives on their driven natures and personal and Brian Harmer of the Wall Street Journal). freedom, and is able to create a work/life These workers stay on the job, but forfeit their balance without strict guidelines office space to permanently or semi-permanently • Is a self-starter and a high achiever that work away from the office. produces strong results with a minimum The cost benefits of telecommuting. amount of supervision Now that high-speed/broadband home Internet • Must be technologically self-sufficient service is widely available, setting up a home • Needs the personal networks, knowledge office is easier and less expensive than ever. and experience to deal with problems that Plus, technologies such as smartphones allow arise on their own employees to stay connected with colleagues and clients from virtually anywhere.