Going into the office to work is the traditional model for many methods of employment. It is also one that companies are increasingly moving away from. Empowered by new options like remote access, employees can now perform work on home computers or mobile devices, setting up their own offices without leaving the house and staying connected wherever they happen to be. Recent Census Bureau stats reflect a move toward this work style.
Ending the commute
The source noted that the new data is not restricted to the private sector. The government, too, has moved toward the telecommute model in place of a physical gathering in an office setting. Companies don't need to commit to working from home all the time, either. The Census Bureau found more employees work from home on Mondays and Fridays than days in the middle of the week, demonstrating some flexibility.
Work-from-home programs seem to be geographically dispersed. The source noted that the data found the greatest concentration of home-based workers in cities and the surrounding areas. The hubs of greatest activity were concentrated in the Southwest, with Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, scoring high.
New technology has changed the way working from home operates. While the computers in offices were once the center of the business technology world, connected to the vitally important on-site mainframes, clientless access software can set up a remote connection to all the company's IT resources. Other tech trends, like the rise of consumer-bought mobile devices, could simply accelerate the shift.
One factor enabling the transition to a work-from-home model is the rise of BYOD programs. When employees are allowed to connect their own devices to the corporate network, they can turn their own work space into a mirror of one at the office without the company having to pay for the hardware.
A recent Network World report stated that companies need to begin to define the rules that will govern their BYOD systems. The source stated that firms should decide on a solid policy before buying the technology to support it, picking the software to reflect their objectives rather than vice versa. J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold told Network World that firms should decide carefully which types of devices do and do not have BYOD access, based on those technologies' individual traits.