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Working solely from an office is fast becoming a thing of the past. In addition to a burgeoning remote and mobile workforce, many workers spend a portion of their time working outside the office. Thanks to Smartphones and Netbooks, it is easier than ever to be connected to work whether you are in a building or on a train.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) in a January 2009 report predicted that the number of jobs filled by telecommuters could grow to 19 million over the next 12 years in the United States. (http://www.itif.org/files/Telecommuting.pdf)

Clearly, work mobility is an emerging strategic trend for organizations of all sizes. And with good reason. There are a number of benefits to work mobility including dramatic reduction in the cost of doing business; enhanced morale and productivity of workers by offering flexible choices; and decreased commuting costs.

According to a study done by the Telework Coalition, sixty-seven percent of all workers used mobile and wireless computing and eighty-nine percent of the top 100 US companies offer telecommuting. (http://www.insight-corp.com/reports/mwf.asp)

In order to work smarter, mobile workers must have:

  • Remote access to files, data and application platforms
  • Mobile devices – smartphones, wireless/broadband cards, netbooks
  • Business applications

The combination of smartphones and cloud computing has made it possible to bring together the essential elements of mobility in a single device. Mobile workers can create and share documents with online document collaboration. Online file servers provide access to distributed team members, vendors and clients. We can create, collaborate and communicate from virtually anywhere.

Mobility is also excellent for service. Remote access to essential data and sophisticated technology tools facilitate the ability to respond faster to customer requests and issues. Processes that once required in office collaboration, such as quotes or estimates, diagnosis of customer issues, or billing issues can be resolved with remote collaboration.

Teams can also work more efficiently even if located in various time zones. Using a cloud file server, work teams can collaborate on projects by sharing files and communications and utilizing automated version control features to track progress. This creates a seamless workflow and a culture of smart productivity.

Do you currently work virtually? What are your must have tools for optimum productivity?

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