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    Reap the Benefits of Remote Access for Employees

    With the enormous advances that have occurred in computing and networking technology, it is now easier than ever for employees to work from home, from the road, from their local coffee shop—practically anywhere they want that's not their office. In fact, it is now unusual for many coffee shops to lack the infrastructure (computers, wireless internet, broadband access) needed for someone to work from there, if they so choose.

    The only real limitation on employees' ability to work remotely is their employers' willingness to let them do so.

    And increasingly, even that barrier is falling. More and more, employers are deciding that letting workers complete their tasks from remote locations not only makes sense for the workers, but it makes sense for their bosses, and it makes sense for the business' bottom line, as well. The drawbacks and limitations inherent to workers telecommuting are becoming smaller and smaller. The time will soon come when all but a few office workers would be better off working from home; in fact, some businesses have already reached that point, and are already reaping the enormous benefits of allowing their employees the freedom to work wherever they want.

    And what exactly are those benefits? Take a look at the list below for just a few examples of how businesses are profiting (figuratively and literally) from letting their employees work remotely.

    Employee Satisfaction

    Employees don't just like working from home, they love it. It allows them vastly more flexibility in planning their days. It allows them greater involvement in their families' lives and day-to-day on goings. It allows them to work in their pajamas, on days when they don't feel like getting dressed. In sum, it gives them a level of freedom they could never have if they were to work in a large office, and that freedom translates into happier, more satisfied, and more productive workers. It is a tremendous recruiting tool: Many employees now expect that their employer will have some remote-working program, and they will flock to companies that do allow them to work remotely. And once the employees are at the company, they are far happier with their jobs, which results in higher productivity and better performance.

    Less Overhead Costs

    When employees are allowed to work from home, their employers have to spend less money on office space, office furniture, computers, phones, other technology, utilities—and the list goes on. Even companies that only allow employees to work from home some of the time see these benefits: They can have their employees share workspaces, and thereby reduce the amount of office space they have to rent, furnish, light, heat, and so on. And when overhead decreases, the administrative time needed to manage that space decreases as well, which saves money and allows managers and other administrators to focus on other matters that will grow their businesses.

    Energy Savings

    Employees and their managers have to spend less money on the fuel needed to get to and from the office, on the electricity needed to light the office, and on the gas needed to heat the office. This is good for employees when they pay to drive to work, and for employers who pay their employees a transportation stipend for daily travel. It's great for businesses that are able to shift much of their work force to remote locations, and consequently eliminate some or all of the office space those employees formerly occupied. And it benefits the environment, as well, by reducing the business's carbon footprint. And that, in turn, can be a good thing for the business's bottom line, as more and more states offer tax benefits and credits to businesses that take steps to reduce their carbon emissions.

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