Monday, February 12, 2007

Working from home – Why all companies should have teleworkers

I noticed that I am starting to work from home more and more often. I also read an article in this week’s businessweek, and a couple of weeks ago about the best companies to work for, and the best companies that do teleworking on Forbes. So I sat down and wrote the pros and cons of it. You might consider this if you are looking to get that startup going or some strategic and operational changes for your company.

Benefits

  • Save on infrastructure expenses – no need to maintain big and pretty offices for your employees. You may reduce the physical size in such a way that you only have conference rooms and briefing centers for customers.
  • Exploit human potential anywhere – you may hire the best people from anywhere in the world. After all, it is a flat world, right?
  • Get closer to your customers – in economic theory, the provider that is closest to the customer gets the most out of it.
  • Greater exposure to diversity and cross-functional interaction – it’s no secret that diversity fosters productivity and innovation
  • Maximize efficiency – have the marketing team in NYC, manufacturers in China, and engineering in Bangalore.

Look-Outs

  • Requires the appropriate infrastructure to stay connected – will the scale of your company be able to support it?
  • Communication avenues need to be fully transparent for customers, providers and employees – it is easy to be aware of the distance and make it an obstacle instead of a benefit; therefore it’s imperative for it to be transparent for every stakeholder
  • Implies trust in your employees – how do you know they are really working?

In my humble opinion, the benefits are far better than the draw-backs. It can be very beneficial for any size of company: I work for a 30 thousand employee company, famous for its teleworker work-force and I can do so much more by working from home like getting to my customers faster, quicker responses and always on call. Also imagine a small startup having inexpensive labor in Latin America or Asia, while selling products in high income markets like the US and Europe. The bottom line is that it’s doable for any size.

No comments: