eWeek published an interesting and informative article last week that outlines ten myths surrounding teleworkers, aka virtual workers. It relies on a number of sources and shows how many organizations can save money, increase employee productivity and improve morale by allowing more workers to telecommute.
The article is on the eWeek website; click here to read it.
For my part, I have always advocated not only telecommuting but complete worker virtualization (at least for knowledge workers like myself). It's great to be able to be productive from virtually anywhere, be it an office, customer site, airport, Starbucks, or a trade show. With the advances in instant messaging, collaboration, telecommunications and networking, there is virtually no reason why most knowledge workers can't work from anywhere today.
In my current role at IBM, I enjoy the ability to make and receive phone calls anywhere while also having the ability to stay in constant contact via email and instant messaging with virtually anyone in the world. IBM has a great phone system that can be configured to follow you anywhere, and any IBM employee can securely instant message another either from their PCs or Blackberries. In addition to email on my Blackberry, I can also access the IBM intranet.
I encourage companies to take a hard look at increasing their employees' ability to work virtually. I believe that everyone wins when employees can be productive from virtually anywhere--so long as they know when to shut things off and switch to non-virtualized family mode!