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Innovation

Another business case for telecommuting: H1N1

The telecommuting option will help employees on the fence on whether or not to come into the office.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

Thanks to H1N1, many organizations these days have a two-word policy for anyone feeling under the weather: stay home.

I just got an email from the folks at FreedomVOICE, provider of hosted Voice over IP services, which suggests one logical way to overcome concerns related to the spread of the H1N1 flu: telecommuting.

The ability to telecommute will help many employees who would otherwise be on the fence about whether or not to come into the office. This is assuming that the employee isn't so wiped out by the flu that they can't sit at their laptop and crank out reports, of course. But it sure beats watching daytime TV.

As Eric Thomas, CEO of FreedomVOICE systems, put it: “If an employee is feeling ill, they should be given the opportunity to work from home if they can still be productive. If the entire company is infected with the flu at the same time, it could be devastating.”

Sure, public relations agencies are paid big bucks to link their clients' offerings to help remedy the crisis of the day. But this pitch makes plenty of sense. And just one more argument in the business case for an employment practice that makes sense for plenty of other reasons. Telecommuting helps the environment, reduces congestion, improves corporate recruiting, reduces real estate costs, and boosts productivity. And keeps some safe distance between people during pandemics. The hackers haven't figured out yet how to spread biological viruses over computer networks. What's not to like?

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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