More tech staff climb aboard telecommuter train

More IT personnel are telecommuting, thanks to wireless technologies and internet applications that make it easier to work outside the office, according to a study by Robert Half Technology.

Telecommuting is becoming more commonplace among IT professionals, and more than half of CIOs surveyed said their company’s IT workforce is telecommuting at a rate that is the same or higher than five years ago. Another 35 per cent said they do not allow their IT workforce to telecommute.

The poll includes responses from more than 270 CIOs in a random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

“We definitely see a lot more telecommuting,” said Igor Abramovitch, division director of consulting services with Robert Half Technology.

There are a few reasons for this, he said, including a more competitive marketplace, where telecommuting is a perk offered when hiring or retaining talent. The other big factor is technology itself. “With wireless, Wi-Fi, Web applications, PDAs, BlackBerrys, technology makes it much easier to telecommute from anywhere,” he said.

Many IT staffers simply aren’t in a position to telecommute, however. In a lot of cases, IT personnel have to be where the equipment is, said Darin Stahl, research lead with Info-Tech Research Group. “While there is a lot of IT work that goes on from home, any of those support functions that are core to keeping the business running, their skew is tilted toward physical presence in the office versus home.” 072147

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