NULLHailed as the next big work force revolution in the late 1990s, telecommuting is alive and well in New Jersey, says Gil Gordon, president of Gil Gordon Associates in Monmouth Junction.
Telecommuting is Âan accepted work optionÂ as firms such as Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb embrace it, setting a trend for other companies, says Gordon. ÂNationally, the trend towards all kinds of mobile work is increasing, so it isnÂt just the idea of people being home a few days a week, but includes people working out of planes and hotel lobbies,Â he says.
ÂThe common thread is the understanding that we donÂt have to be at the office to do office work.Â
Gordon says reduced telecommunication costs, and the increased availability of broadband communications and devices like the BlackBerry and the Palm Pilot, have worked in favor of telecommuting. GordonÂs firm consults with employers on their telecommuting requirements and other Âvirtual officeÂ solutions like remote conferencing.
ÂNow, for instance, people want to find an alternative to gasoline at $3 a gallon,Â says Gordon, as an example of why some employees might prefer not to have to drive to work each day.
Employers that want to attract and retain certain employees might allow them to work from home or some other remote location, he adds.
At a broader level, telecommuting can allow a company to hire more people without having to provide office space for them, says Gordon. It also reduces the pressure on transportation and other infrastructure, he says.
Gordon adds that telecommuting scores well when it comes to productivity. ÂThe worst I have seen in a well-managed telecommuting program is break-even: [employees] do as much work as they would have done in the office,Â he says. ÂAnd the office can sometimes be a terrible place to do work.Â
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