Before the advent of the Great Recession in 2008 – 2009 there was a lot of interest and traction in teleworkers. Various news outlets and subject matters experts predicted that more and more workers would be in home offices and passing on the lengthy commutes to the workplace. Interestingly, the Great Recession created more “line of sight” workers. Employees wanted to be seen working so their managers would find it more challenging to address employee productivity and workloads.
With the economy rebounding (of course depending on the conversation), we can once again see traction in the work at home – teleworker – model. Technology has most certainly been enabling. With Millennials becoming more and more of a factor in the workforce (over 55M), and with a generation at work of students who graduated from high school and college in 2014 (TechGen), we can now see mobility taking hold. The workplace is no longer an office, but simply where work is performed.
The Federal Government passed the Teleworker Enhancement Act in 2010 with updated findings in 2013. The results are not surprising: much of the work required to be performed can be competed outside of a government facility, and at last count over 11% of federal workers took advantage of that approach. Corporate America is following suit as well.
My own case is not untypical. I have been working out of my home office for at least a decade (actually longer). I have a formal home office and yes, I hope I am productive. I avoid commuting and with unified communications such as Skype, WebEx and other tools, there is no longer a rationale given what I do, to be elsewhere. As more and more of the teleworker model becomes more prevalent, it is incumbent upon IT to look at the new security issues that will arise, and revisit governance.
Many organizations have not revised the governance for quite a while so this trend might well signal a review. We need to train our managers on how to manage a remote workforce. Managing results and output as well as people will be the new norm.
This is a guest blog, written by Bruce Michelson, National Lifecylcle Manager at HP, on behalf on our sponsor.