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January 01, 2000
Telecommuting can save $10,000 per worker
But
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there are serious (and hidden) IT costs

For most HR managers, the benefits from switching more workers to telecommuting status are obvious. Biggest payoffs: fewer missed days of work, better retention, missing half-days instead of whole days when they have an unavoidable personal chore (Source: A new study by the International Telework Association and Council - ITAC).

But you should be aware of the potential for large costs that could eat up the savings from telecommuting. These come in the form of increased IT expenses, according to a November 1999 article in Internet Week. These expenses involve accommodating access to databases by more and more remote users, as well as providing different methods to access the network. IT managers now have to provide dial up access to networks, user names, passwords, as well as address firewall issues. All of these services cost money, a fact which is frequently not considered when considering telecommuting.

Recommendation: Chat up your IT manager about the hidden costs of telecommuting in your organization. Your management will appreciate it.

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