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Enabling a Remote Workforce.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Enabling a Remote Workforce Table of Contents Introduction 1 Organizational Issues 1 Productivity - Are employees who telecommute more productive than their traditional office colleagues? 1 Savings - What types of savings from a telecommuting program should employers expect? 2 Planning - What kind of planning does an organization need to do to properly implement a successful telecommuting program? 2 Eligibility - How do managers determine the eligibility of employees for telecommuting? 3 Social Interaction - What types of social limitations do remote workers experience? 3 Communication Limitations - Are organizations disadvantaged due to communication limitations with remote workers? 4 Management - How do managers successfully manage and support remote workers? 5 Technical Issues 5 Network - What are the security, bandwidth, and infrastructure implications for the company network to support remote access? 5 Hardware/Software Needs - What are the hardware, home infrastructure, and software licensing needs for the remote user? 6 Telecommuting Variations - What are alternative solutions or variations for telecommuting programs? 7 Connectivity - What are the tools and considerations to accommodate remote network access? 8 Communication - How do you allow your employees to communicate electronically and verbally from home? 9 Collaboration - What are the tools that foster communication? 9 IT Support - What are the options and challenges to providing remote employees with technical support? 10 Cost - How much does deploying a remote workforce cost? 10 Conclusion 11 Introduction There are a number of good reasons why companies should consider supporting a remote worker program including an expanded labor pool, reduced traffic congestion costs (late arriving/stressed out employees), improved recruitment and retention of staff, facility cost savings, reduced parking costs, reduced sick leave and improved worker productivity. Conversely, there are some disadvantages that companies should also be aware of including an isolated work force, family turf problems, lack of social interaction with other employees and the fear by remote workers that they will be overlooked for promotions. ...read more.

Middle

External Network Must secure the PC in the remote location (i.e. firewalls, RSA encryption, etc...) to prevent unauthorized access and snooping from the remote location. Remote Worker Least secure, must require security policies to be followed about passwords, where to connect, and who to trust. With more remote workers, there will be an increased demand of bandwidth on the network. Will the remote employees be productive with the current infrastructure that your network can provide? Perhaps considerations for upgrading from16: From To Dial-up (56K) ISDN (128K-256K) ISDN (128K-256K) T1 (up to 1.5M) T1 (up to1.5M) T3 (44.736 Mbps) With the increase demand more infrastructure will be required for allowing an increasing number of remote workers to connect to the corporate network (more servers, security hardware, and routing hardware). Hardware/Software Needs - What are the hardware, home infrastructure, and software licensing needs for the remote user? For the employees who travel often, they are usually provided some mobile computing solutions and they have found ways to work from remote locations. However the new generation of employees, the remote worker will work from the comfort of their home. Working from home brings a new set of issues in to play. HARDWARE * Can the employee keep work and personal items separated? * If not, should the company provide additional hardware? * If the company does NOT provide additional hardware, then how much of the employees hardware can be expensed if upgrades are necessary? * The employee may need/require a fax machine, an additional phone line, or other office equipment. SOFTWARE * Software licensing has be clear-cut as far as how many computers can use the same license, however what about home workers? * The company's site licensing may not cover home computers and will require the company to pay extra for these licenses. INFRASTRUCTURE * For someone at home who has a DSL, Cable, or Dial-Up connecting, how much of that should the company pay for? ...read more.

Conclusion

The real issue seems to stem from whether a company will change its processes and standards to allow for telecommuting to co-exist with office employees. Such a decision, as this paper has outlined, is not as simple as providing remote employees with an internet connection. Rather, the decision has significant technical and organizational ramifications that need to be well thought out before implementation; otherwise, the company is doomed to make the mistakes of many companies that have haphazardly gone down this path. 1 http://www.langhoff.com/faqs.html 2 http://www.youcanworkfromanywhere.com/infocenter/facts.htm 3 http://www.youcanworkfromanywhere.com/infocenter/facts.htm 4 http://www.tfw.org.uk/teleworking/contents.htm 5 http://www.langhoff.com/faqs.html 6 Pinsonneault, A. (1999). The Impacts of Telecommuting on Organizations and Individuals: A Review of the Literature, Cahier du GreSI, 99(9). 7 Guimaraes, T., and Dallow, P. (1999). Empiracally Testing the Benefits, Problems, and Success Factors for Telecommuting Programs, European Journal of Information Systems, 8, 40-54. 8 Davenport, T.H. and Pearlson, K. (1998). Two Cheers for the Virtual Office, Sloan Management Review, 39(4), 51-65. 9 Guimaraes, T., and Dallow, P. (1999). Empiracally Testing the Benefits, Problems, and Success Factors for Telecommuting Programs, European Journal of Information Systems, 8, 40-54. 10 Kirvan, P. (1995). How to Manage Systems for Remote Workers, Communications News, 33, 67. 11 Kirvan, P. (1995). How to Manage Systems for Remote Workers, Communications News, 33, 67. 12 Guimaraes, T., and Dallow, P. (1999). Empiracally Testing the Benefits, Problems, and Success Factors for Telecommuting Programs, European Journal of Information Systems, 8, 40-54. 13 Davenport, T.H. and Pearlson, K. (1998). Two Cheers for the Virtual Office, Sloan Management Review, 39(4), 51-65. 14 Ascend Communications, 2002, "Telecommuting Network Guide: A Resource for Planners, Excutives, and Information Managers", http://users.skynet.be/teletravail/PDF/solut_technique.pdf 15 Jessica L. Hirsch, 2000, "Telecommuting: Security Policies and Procedures for the "Work-From-Home" Workforce", http://www.teleworker.org/articles/telework_security.html 16 Bandwidth Savings, 2003, "Services In Detailed", http://www.bandwidthsavings.net/servicesdetail.cfm 17 Citrix.com, 2003, Home Page, http://www.citrix.com 18 Hall, Aric, Bilski, Alicia, Wadman, Scott, 2003, "Ways People Telecommute", http://members.tripod.com/~trom/page3.html 19 http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc 20 Wrobel, Leo A., February 1997, "Helpful Hints for MIS Managers Supporting Telecommuters and Nomadic Users -Part I: Voice Communications", http://www.rewireit.com/articles/w0297.pdf 21 http://www.webx.com 22 http://www.pcsupport.com/ - 5 - ...read more.

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