Teleworking from Home Part-time can Improve Productivity

Wouldn’t it be good if I could:

  • Telework from home part-time
  • Save commuting time
  • Reduce my petrol usage
  • Reduce the firm’s carbon footprint
  • Work more effectively
  • Improve my work-life balance
  • Work from home part-time while rearing my young children?

It sounds great, but how could I work as effectively from home as I do in the office? I need access to the company LAN network, databases, colleagues and so on.

Why would I want to do that?

Working from home for the full five days a week is not usually the best option. You need to interact with colleagues, your boss and subordinates. Plus you need the intellectual stimulation this supplies. Meetings are also (sometimes) necessary.

What can be useful is if there is a report to write, a CAD project to work on, a presentation to prepare. Working at home (with a little self-discipline) can be very productive. Colleagues will keep their interruptions for when you are next in the office. The wasted travel time and stress of commuting is not there, you can work in casual clothes.

I have been able to take work home for years. What’s new?

For many professionals, it is important not just to be able to get email, but also to be completely connected to the company LAN (network) and get files from the servers, work on them and save them back there, without downloading them onto their laptop. This may be a client’s confidential file, engineering CAD drawings with change controls, central spreadsheets accessed by multiple colleagues, medical records, etc.

New broadband networking technology can connect your laptop at home directly to the company network in complete security. It is accomplished by creating an Ethernet connection directly from your home to the company LAN using a private network that doesn’t use the Internet with all its vagaries. This means no firewalls or VPNs are needed and no download charges apply.

It costs marginally more than a residential DSL Internet connection, but it is a “business grade” broadband direct link with no download charges and a simple, secure connection to the office.

If, however, you just need to handle emails and work connected to websites then a direct Internet access is just fine and you don’t need a private Broadband WAN network connection from your home office to Head Office.

Patterns of Work have Changed

In 1958, petrol was 25 cents a gallon (4.5 litres) and patterns of commuting were easier. A drive to work was typically 15 to 30 minutes. Only 14% of homes had a telephone, there was no air conditioning, calculators or dishwashers, and TV had only just been introduced. It was a slower pace of life.

Now, nearly sixty years later, petrol is well over $1 a litre, commuting is getting worse, with a typical drive-time to work of 45 to 90 minutes. The pace of life is frantic and the realities of global warming are just being felt, but 85% of households have broadband access!

Changing conditions call for a changed response.

What Type of People can Benefit?

Many larger firms are now providing the option of having staff telework partly from home to reduce the number of car spots needed, and even to reduce the size of the office and the number of desks provided.

In smaller companies, it is likely to be the professionals – accountants, lawyers, consulting engineers, architects, drafters and senior staff – who benefit from 1 to 3 days a week at home to progress or finish those major tasks in peace.

Retaining Key Staff

Many businesses are experiencing a lack of key staff resources. Often it is difficult to attract and retain expert staff. A company that has a more flexible approach can be more attractive.

This is particularly true for expert professional female staff that have left to have a baby, want to return to work, but not full-time and would much prefer to work mainly from home while their children are still young.

How Do I set this Up?

The best way is to contact a “Green Telco” like OAK Telecom, which specialises in setting up DSL networks for remote teleworking. To try and pull it together yourself from retail internet links is possible, but will take time and can be frustrating. It will also not perform as well and costs only a little less.

The much better solution is to create a private network, using backbone links that by-pass the Internet. The large telcos do this mainly for larger companies, but there are a number of specialists, like OAK Telecom, who can provide this option for small to medium to large companies as well.

Prices can start at about $70 per month per DSL access, with no extra download charges. The same links can also be used for Internet downloads without compromising the private network. This means it can be a good solution for an executive’s home, with part of the costs borne by the firm – or at least the taxman.

Can I have HR and OH&S Assistance for my Company?

Yes, OAK Telecom has formed an alliance with Shave HR as they are HR and OH&S experts in the area of teleworking from home offices as well as in working at normal offices. We can arrange a meeting with an expert officer from Shave HR who can provide various options to assist your company’s HR people in developing its Human Resources (HR) and Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) policies and procedures.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Not only does it make sense for the environment, but it makes sense in other areas such as retaining key staff, improving lifestyle and improving productivity.

This teleworking from home approach is one area that is easy to do and produces immediate benefits.

Remember, saving carbon emissions is a good thing to do, but it’s much better if it also provides benefits in other areas such as saving fuel costs and travel time, improving the work-life balance and making savings for the business itself.

Think about it!

Tim Herring, OAK Telecom, 04 1733 9883, therring@oaktelecom.com


Contact us

OAK Telecom
Level 6, 99 Queen Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000

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