Regardless of when oil hits the $200 per barrel figure, it is time to start preparing for the realities of the energy crunch. As such, information technology departments must start preparing to support remote workers.
The cost of employees goes beyond the normal metrics tracked by the HR department. In addition to salary and benefits, the smart enterprise will also begin to track the energy consumption of their workers. Every time someone enters and leaves your offices, they are impacting energy costs. The figures skyrocket when you also include the electrical impact of computers, desktop calculators, personal digital devices, light fixtures, coffee machines, refrigerators, water heaters, electric staplers, printers and all other electronics.
So, the smart enterprise will encourage their workers to telecommute. Your employees will be happy because they will save money on gasoline, tolls and wear on their automobiles. They will also be spared the stress of the daily commute. With computers, worker productivity is easy to measure so you don't need to worry about employees wasting time.
What all this means is that IT departments need to start preparing for telecommuting now. They need to adapt to the realities of the energy crunch. While many pundits are touting the advantages of "greening" your IT, by implementing a telecommuting strategy you will be reducing your total business impact on the environment and saving money too.