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Forget Valentine’s Day. This week, CMSWire celebrated National Telework Week. Never mind that every week is Telework Week for us, but we’re using it as an opportunity to address your company’s plans to make working remotely better and more productive.

Rethinking Workforce Flexibility

According to David Clemons and Michael Kroth, authors of Managing The Mobile Workforce, it’s estimated that the number of worldwide mobile workers will reach one billion by 2011, which includes nearly 75 percent of the U.S. workforce.

In a recent article for the Huffington Post, Brett Caine, the president of Citrix Online, offered ways the enterprise could rethink workplace flexibility. Among the tips provided were a few that could benefit most companies, whether big or small. Caine recommends that companies should:

  • Develop a formal program. Like anything worth doing to save time and money, outlining a strategic plan for how the company will operate -- despite time zones and borders -- is essential for having what Caine calls “workshifting” succeed.
  • Make sure all employees have the tools they need to be productive. Just because mobile employees are heard and often unseen doesn’t mean they deserve to work out of a Starbucks or print documents at the neighborhood Kinko’s. Investing in your mobile workforce means training them appropriately and giving them access to the right tools.
  • Be accessible. While there is a fine line between productivity and checking email at 3 a.m. just because you can, companies need to set clear expectations with remote workers and their managers to make sure they are accessible for questions and guidance, but also adhere to established hours, like their office counterparts.

The mobile workforce is here and companies must get used to it. Build on the momentum of National Telework Week to get up to speed so that, by this time next year, you’re not just a bystander but an active participant.