It’s no secret that technology as well as social media are changing the way we work and live. Thankfully, corporate America and the U.S. government are finally getting the clue: Technology offers an opportunity to provide more employees flexibility while cutting overhead costs at the same time.
Two trends I’ve seen emerging among the workplace mainstream are telecommuting and BYOD. Telecommuting is a relatively simple idea, although a challenge for managers and supervisors to execute effectively. Employees and teams work virtually from their home office collaborating and communicating online and by phone.
Telecommuting is a very highly desirable benefit. In fact 83% of 2,500 American adults stated that it was a trend growing not only in popularity but importance. Importance that translates into 32% of those surveyed willing to give up a pay increase or half of vacation days to work from home. The survey released by Team Viewer and Harris Interactive found the employees are willing to make significant sacrifices in both their work and personal lives to telecommute. In fact, 5% of respondents would leave their spouse and 12% would forgo taking showers for the ability to work from home.
Telecommuting offers a benefit not just for the employee. In 2010, the government passed the Federal Telework Act allowing employees to work from home or with flexible schedules. The act, in less than a year, has had 79 agencies participate with 42% of them experiencing cost reductions.
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, employees are asked by employers to bring their own personal computers, tablets and smartphones to work, lowering company technology costs. The cost savings for an organization, depending on its size, could be in the thousands or millions each year.
As companies transition to the cloud, the need for company-issued devices becomes less important. I no longer need a company laptop and can VPN to access my presentation. In the cloud, I can quickly upload my presentation to my tablet, making for a more interactive discussion and lighter load.
Employees no longer have to juggle two cellphones, multiple tablets, and laptop computers. With BYOD and technology, data is as safe as it was before, except it is stored via the Internet making employees’ lives and work less complex. The transition between the two is seamless and makes having to juggle multiple smartphones, calendars and computers throughout the workday a problem of the past.
While these emerging trends are not new, they are catching the attention of corporate human resource professionals and members of the C-suite who are beginning to use tablets, social media and mobile technologies as part of their own everyday lives both personally and professionally. And when it comes to ROI for telework and BYOD, business leaders are more likely to make the connection to getting business done more than ever before. Because if the federal government can benefit, surely you can too.
This post is by Jessica Miller-Merrell, a leadership blogger at Blogging4Jobs. She is a digital strategist with a passion for recruiting, human resources, training and social media and author of “Tweet This! Twitter for Business,” a how-to business guide for Twitter.