Remote office center
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Remote office centers are office space leasing centers which lease individual offices to employees from multiple companies in a single office location or center. The purpose of remote office centers is to provide professional office space in locations that are near where people live, so they can cut down on the commute, but still work out of a real office with professional grade internet, phone service and security.
Office center locations
Remote office centers are usually located in close proximity to where people live; they are generally distributed throughout suburban and near-suburban locations. The idea behind a remote office center is that you lease an office near where you live, in a building shared with other remote office users and you telecommute from a professional, secure, and reliable office-work environment.
Services provided by remote office centers
- Professional grade internet access for use with company VPN. (Personal firewalls, for each office, are configured in order to ensure security within the center).
- Professional work space environment (desks, chairs, lighting, file cabinets, etc.)
- Professional grade phone system
- Mail stop
- Security system (complete with system logs that can be provided to employers in order to guarantee work attendance).
- Flexible office space leasing that can grow or shrink as a company grows or shrinks, which is no longer constrained by location, or limited floor space in existing facilities.
- Remote office centers allow for flexible leasing, so that companies are not stuck in long term leases in case an employee quits or leaves employment for any reason.
- Remote office centers may offer additional services such as optional equipment or hands-on technical support for additional fees.
Advantages over traditional telecommuting
- Professional work space with professional internet/network access.
- Freedom from distractions inherent in home work environments (TV, family, chores, etc.)
- Secure facilities with attendance logging so that employers can be assured of employee work hours.
- Separation of home and work. This is a key to mental health. For many people, it is hard to separate work from home, if you never leave home. Most people need a work place to go to and more importantly come home from. An ROC provides the office, and the social contact that comes from working in an office with other workers (even if they work for a different company).
Limited acceptance of traditional telecommuting
- Dice Holdings recently ran a survey and found that 30 percent of technology workers who were surveyed would accept a 10 percent pay cut if they were allowed to telecommute. However, the same study showed that only 7 percent of technology workers actually did telecommute, and they were mostly consultants. There is obviously a large discrepancy between those who want to telecommute and those who are able to telecommute through traditional telecommuting implementations.
- A government study showed that only 20 percent of government workers telecommuted at all. The same study showed that 96 percent could telecommute part-time and 79 percent could telecommute full time. The same study showed that $19.9 billion of commuting cost and $21.5 billion in pollution costs could be saved if government workers and management were to fully embrace telecommuting either from home or remote centers.
- On June 3, 2008, the House passed H.R. 4106. H.R. 4106 would require agencies to develop a program allowing employees to telework at least 20 percent of every two-week work period.
- GSA currently (June 20, 2008) provides 14 Remote Offices in the D.C. area that can be used by Federal Employees.
- The Oregon Telecommunity Center Project produced a replicable model for planning and developing a telecommunity center to reduce travel demand while increasing access to jobs. The project assessed the needs of specific Oregon rural communities that can be served by technology and network services through a telecommunity center.