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Telecommuting During the Snowpocalypse

In recent weeks, icy storms have swept the country. Dallas, Texas, felt colder than Anchorage, Alaska, last week, allowing many southerners to discover the art of building a snowman. Both private and public transportation can easily be impaired during winter storms; worse, drivers often learn the hard way how dangerous it is to drive on icy roads.

However, weather difficulties no longer mean lost productivity for the increasing percentage of the workforce now enjoying the advantages of telecommuting. Allowing staff to work from home‚ when weather is unpredictable or on a more regular basis‚ can often increase productivity, motivation, and retention. Additionally, unpredicted school closures present extra difficulty for working parents. Finding last-minute child care on a snow day can be a staggering challenge. The flexibility of telecommuting benefits not only employees but their families as well.

Rather than bundling up in winter weather gear, employees with the right technology can stay safe in their cozy flannel pajamas and work from home. Poor weather is an optimal time for telecommuters to put portable consumer electronics‚ laptop computers, wireless and smart phones‚ to their intended uses. When employees working from home pair these resources with web and video conferencing solutions and an inexpensive webcam, home offices can retain much of the same productivity as in-office environments.

These electronic resources‚ sometimes villainized as impediments to a healthy work-life balance‚ can actually promote harmony and flexibility while telecommuting. When we integrate devices into our life rather than being dependent upon them, we can achieve a work-life balance that takes into account our unique needs and boundaries. Telecommuting can help employees realize gains in these areas. Fewer interruptions and commutes empower employees to create space and sanity in their professional and personal lives while using time to their own advantage.

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

New to telecommuting? Take this quiz from PGi to learn which telecommuting personality type you are – a multitasker, networker, remote team manager or flex worker.

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