Telecommuting Improved with Enterprise File Sharing

Working remotely from the office is a growing reality for enterprises around the world. Since 2005, the number of people working remotely has grown by nearly 80%, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

The latest telecommuting statistics show that the highest proportions of teleworkers are federal employees (3.3%), private sector not-for-profit employers (2.9%), private sector for-profit employers (2.6%), state government workers (2.4%), and local government workers (1.2%).

With the current labor force composition, 64 million US employees hold a job where they could telecommute at least part-time. Out of that, 79% said they would like to work from home at least part of the time. Altogether, this means that roughly 50 million U.S. workers can and want to telecommute.

Why is telecommuting a growing trend?

What is the potential ROI if more people telecommute in the US? If the 50 million people mentioned above who either want to or are capable of telecommuting start doing it, it could mean a national savings of $700 billion a year. A typical enterprise could save $11,000 per person per year on real estate costs and more. Furthermore, the employee would save anywhere from $2000 to $7000 a year on fuel costs, automotive maintenance, and more according to Global Workplace Analytics.

The challenges of telecommuting

While there are some obvious financial benefits for both enterprises and employees with telecommuting, it is not without a few challenges. Fortunately, enterprise file sharing solutions can reduce some of these challenges.

1. Communication

Many people that have worked in a corporate office and established relationships over the years say that communication and camaraderie are the primary things they miss when they start to telecommute. Their team members are no longer sitting directly beside them. This means that telecommuters need to rely on communication tools like phone, IM, email, and Skype for communicating. This can make it more difficult for telecommuters to communicate properly on shared team projects.

Enterprise file sharing can improve project communication. Not only is there one central hub that holds all of the team files, there are enhanced features like comments and tasks. These features allow team members to communicate with each other about specific projects in one central location. This gives telecommuting employees the same information as the employees that are in the office.

2. Career advancement

Many telecommuters find that they are actually more productive when they are home. However, your team members and managers in the office can’t actually see the physical time and effort that you are putting into your work. This could negatively affect your career advancement. The people that are actually at the office being seen doing the work are more likely to be promoted than telecommuters.

Enterprise file sharing solutions like Onehub have audit trails that can be a great solution to this problem. Audit trails enable all team members to see who has opened and worked on a particular file and when. Now your manager will be able to see just how on top of your tasks you really are.

3. Version Control

Many corporate businesses use email for file sharing. During a project, files go through multiple iterations with different versions getting distributed to different team members. Even with filename updating, versions can get confusing. Imagine an employee spending hours updating the file only to find out it was the wrong version.

With enterprise file sharing, there is a single location for all of your project files. Version control is handled by the system and file sharing features, like Onehub’s “versions”, enables team members to see version tracking history to ensure that they are always working on the right version.

Conclusion

Enterprise file sharing can improve the experience of telecommuting for employees and companies. We make it easy for telecommuters to collaborate from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere.