Despite all the fun I’ve had “googling”; I haven’t been able to find a good statistic on the number of people who are telecommuting. But when you count up those telecommuting full-time, part-time, or occasionally, the number is in the tens of millions.
What’s driving all this telecommuting?
Well, some of it’s actually driving itself – people just want to get off the road. Beyond that, many organizations offer telecommuting to boost morale and increase their retention and recruitment rates. Others find that telecommuting means less real-estate spending. Many organizations incorporate telecommuting into their business continuity planning. And then there are those employees – sales, consultants, other road warriors – whose work has them in the field regularly. Finally, there are those of us who like to check in occasionally on nights, weekends, or even when we’re on vacation.
It all adds up to an increasingly distributed workforce.
Having a distributed workforce also adds up to a new element of complexity for the IT helpdesk.
All of a sudden, you can’t make that impromptu deskside visit to fix a problem. An employee can’t easily drop by with a faulty laptop. Computers that you could easily reach for trouble shooting and problem resolution when they’re on the internal network, are now outside the firewall. (And, let’s face it, VPN’s can be cumbersome, expensive, and difficult to implement and manage.)
In a world where we’re all so reliant on technology to do our jobs, the arguments in favor of telecommuting fall pretty flat if the telecommuters can’t access critical applications.
The answer? A remote support tool that lets you take care of problems, wherever your employees are – and whether they’re using an official computer, their home PC, or even a smartphone.
The employees you support are getting more interested in telecommuting, not less. Your helpdesk needs to make sure that, when employees are working remotely, they’re as productive and efficient as they are when they’re just down the corridor.
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