The home workplace actually has three distinct manifestations:
- telecommuting (people within large firms who work at home full- or part-time);
- small-office-home-office (individuals and small groups based at home); and
- decentralized workplace (virtual corporations with all or most people working at home).
A large-scale commitment to the home workplace offers major benefits in terms of environment, energy and economics – what we call E3 or Trinomics. These include less pollution, a potential saving of up to 30% of U.S. gasoline consumption, reducing traffic congestion and the ability for businesses to add – and sustain – more information workers at a lower total cost.
To successfully adopt the home workplace, we believe that it is necessary to balance four factors: workflow, human factors, technology and logistics as well as to focus on sending home whole workgroups, not just individual employees. Unfortunately, for the past two decades, the advocates of “telecommuting” have concentrated on human resources and human factors aspects to the exclusion of the other three important issues. This has resulted in telecommuting being hailed as the “coming thing” year after year, but with most large enterprises being unsuccessful in sending home more than 5-10% of their information workers. There is a huge untapped potential here.
The following describes our approach to home workplace project deployment.
- Identify business processes and identify one or more workgroups within the client’s current business operation which are viable candidates for deployment to the home workplace.
- Develop a strategic approach to home workplace appropriate to the business operational and technical environment.
- Establish a home workplace technology architecture.
- Develop a home workplace deployment plan.
- Establish the business case and expected qualitative benefits available from deployment of one or more workgroups to the home workplace.
- Review with all stakeholders.
- Implement deployment plan.