Friday, July 08, 2011

Managing by eyeballing butts in chairs instead of work product comes with $900 billion lost opportunity cost

Despite the rapid growth of the digital economy and the Internet that makes the specific time and location for getting work done less and less relevant, "management attitudes that were born in the days of sweatshops and typing pools still dominate" the American workplace, according to a June 2011 paper authored by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish of the Telework Research Network.

It estimates that if 50 million potential telecommuters in the U.S. worked from home for half the work week, the savings to their employers, communities and themselves would would total over $900 billion annually. As framed by Lister and Harnish, that represents part of the lost opportunity cost of retaining the pre-digital economy management model.

The authors also call for ubiquitous Internet access. "Without uniform access, telework will not be available to those who need it the most," they state.

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