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6/26/2009
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Cisco Touts Telecommuting

A survey released by the networking powerhouse says work-at-home employees can save companies money. And then there's the bandwidth.

After examining the telecommuting activities of nearly 2,000 of its employees, Cisco has concluded that telecommuting is a win-win-win activity. The study found that telecommuting delivers favorable results in social, economic and environmental areas.

In a generally glowing report, the networking company found that telecommuting improved employee productivity, job satisfaction and work-life flexibility. The average Cisco employee spends two days telecommuting each week.

"Cisco has long recognized that telecommuting and collaborative technologies are effective in breaking down separation barriers and enabling the transition to the borderless enterprise," said Rami Mazid, Cisco's vice president of Global Client Services and Operations. "A properly executed program for telecommuting can be extremely effective at unlocking employee potential by increasing work-life balance, productivity and overall satisfaction."

While it's implicit, Cisco didn't state the obvious fact that increased workforce telecommuting would boost bandwidth usage, which in turn could stoke additional sales of networking equipment.

According to Cisco's Internet Business Services Group, the firm's consulting unit, Cisco employees spend about 63% of their time communicating and collaborating and 40% of the employees are not in the same location as their managers. The report surveyed employees across Cisco's global operations in North America, Europe, Japan, and Asia Pacific.

The report noted that the company has saved an estimated $277 million in productivity by allowing employees to telecommute and telework.

One advantage of telecommuting, of course, is the time employees don't have to spend in traffic commuting. Cisco employees in the U.S. and Canada said their average round-trip commute is 30 miles. On the high end, European Cisco employees reported a 46-mile round-trip commute while the shortest commutes for Cisco employees were for 14 round-trip miles in Asia Pacific countries.

The survey also revealed that telecommuting Cisco employees prevented more than 47,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas being releases.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis on increasing application performance. Download the report here (registration required).

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