Saturday, February 1, 2014
Telecommuting and the Mobile Worker
In this information age we currently live in, there is always the need for technology to make our lives more convenient and efficient. In the business world, travel can be a benefit for some and a nuisance for most. Telecommuting technology is helping to reduce the time, energy and cost that comes with traveling to and from work locations. This technology is also helping business become more efficient by using its available IT resources to get around the “overhead” cost aspect as well as the cost of relocating employees. Telecommuting technology is also able to connect employees over a video conference and other applications such as intranets from almost any location in the word. Most major business already had the robust IT capabilities needed for telecommuting, this was also a real benefit. These IT systems continue to become more environmentally friendly as the technology continues to evolve. This is a great benefit for business, employees, as well as the environment. A great example of this is the latest release of AMD “Opteron” ARM CPU. This Central Processing Unit (CPU) is used as “high-density micro-servers” targeting the business server’s field by providing great performance, consuming less power and becoming just as affordable as traditional CPUs. This is an emerging movement called ‘Green Computing” which is the great benefit of technology, helping make our lives more efficient and convenient all while reducing its operational cost and impact on the environment. Another example is that benefit of employee’s no longer wasting gas on heavy city traffic to and from work on a daily basis. Telecommuting has saved not only money for business and helped reduce carbon footprints on the environment, but also saved personal relationships by not having our loved ones travel on such a frequent basis. It has also made life easier and more convenient for people with disabilities, by not having them get on a plane or car and travel for long hours at a time.
Although this telecommunications technology has mostly eliminated the need for travel, there is one pending question, what happens in case of a man made or natural disaster?
In any business, the ability to continue day to day operations is extremely critical. This is why Disaster Planning is so important. The disaster planning model allows a business to analyze worst case scenarios and build around them to make a more failure redundant system. This means that a business should not put all their eggs in one basket by building its IT infrastructure only in one location. The ability and benefit of building in different locations around the world will provide operational redundancy in case of a disaster or even a system failure. Looking at telecommuting from a managerial perspective it is easy to see the great benefits that it offers for any business. This may come in the form of providing talented employee retention or avoiding relocation cost of this same talent. It has also helped reduced the operational cost of day to day business by having employees work at home and use their own devices, equipment and electricity. Although this is great for a manager and therefor the business there are some drawback to this technology. One very obvious drawback is the lack of physical supervision from managers. This means that employees need to have the discipline required to accomplish their task with minimal or no supervision. This however, may not always be the case. This lack of supervision can cause problems with communications from employee to manager and may become a great disadvantage if it goes unchecked. Another disadvantage for any manager is that he or she will need to hand-pick those who will be allowed to telecommute. This may cause some animosity among other employees, lowering office morale. Telecommuting will