Using technology to enable a growing remote workforce

Businesses can use technology to enable a growing remote workforce to communicate effectively.

A substantial debate has developed recently over the advantages and disadvantages of teleworking, spurred by the initial leaked memo from Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that banned telework. Since then, numerous corporations and other organizations have come forward voicing their stance on the issue. For example, the Mobile Work Exchange is promoting telecommuting and the value of increased mobility in today's tech-driven corporate environment with Telework Week 2013. From March 4 through 8, the organization reported that more than 110,000 people who don't typically work from home have pledged to do so.

In addition, a study conducted last year by global market intelligence provider International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted that by 2015, roughly 37.2 percent of the total global workforce will be made up of mobile workers, expected to reach more than 1.3 billion people. Also, OfficeZilla recently released its key strategies for successful teleworking, citing a new Stanford study showing that call center employees were able to increase their performance by 13 percent when working from home. Researchers reported that flexible working enhanced work satisfaction and led to less employee turnover.

Intelligent communications solutions can benefit enterprise mobility
In a recent article for ZDNet, contributor Spandas Lui reported that as Yahoo and Google take a stand against teleworking, Intel and other major corporations are voicing support for the telework concept. Gordon Graylish, Intel's general manager of enterprise solutions, told the source that all 91,500 global Intel employees benefit from a robust bring your own device program, and the company has also begun issuing Windows 8 touchscreen devices to employees to better equip them with the tools necessary for working from home.

"All companies need to consider all of their employees. Frankly, the more we can accommodate for people's lifestyles, the better, and if we can provide them with tools to work effectively wherever they are, we will," Graylish said. He added, "We live in a world that is moving very quickly, and we need to enable people to operate in the most comfortable and effective fashion. We expect people to get their jobs done, not that they need to be at a particular place, or do it at a particular time. When you're looking at global organizations, finding ways to connect people so there is a sense of community among those people is really important."

A hosted communication solution and VoIP are two technological options in which companies can invest to streamline internal operations and enable employees to telework more efficiently. Cloud communications allow employees to access the resources they need regardless of where they are located.