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Boosts Productivity
Internet or Coffee?

In the 2005 survey on employee Internet habits, 52 percent of workers said that, if they had to choose, they would rather give up their morning coffee than their ability to use their workplace's Internet for personal reasons [source: Websense].

Many employees feel that they could be more productive outside of the office -- away from distractions such as a gum-popping colleague or the social aspect of the office. "The one (reason) that is most surprising is that employees want to do this (telecommute) because they are frustrated by how difficult it is to do their work in the office," Gordon said.

Taking away the distractions can make people more productive, but holding employees more accountable for their productivity can also have an effect. Wilsker notes that even though employees may be present in the office in front of their computers, there is no way of knowing whether they are actually working. According to a 2005 study, employees who accessed the Internet at work reported spending about 3.4 hours per week accessing non-work related sites [source: Websense].

Since many telecommuting jobs do not revolve around the time spent, but instead how much you can produce for the company, it could make employees more efficient with their time. "I find that people are more productive because they are task-oriented, not time-oriented and (think that) 'I need to get my job done,'" Wilsker said.

Some companies have seen this affect their bottom lines. For example, Cisco, a company that deals in networking equipment and network management for the Internet, found in a study that it has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity by giving employees the option to telecommute and telework [source: Cisco].

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