Thanks to ubiquitous broadband and high-quality smartphones and laptops, even office workers who don't "telecommute" have become "telecommuters." IT departments must embrace working outside the office walls—and they can start by killing most VPNs.

 

Telecommuting as a separate thing is pretty much dead. You get e-mail on your phone, you write documents on your iPad, you run videoconferences on your laptop, and you do that anywhere you happen to be. When people conduct FaceTime chats on airplanes over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the idea that there's this special "telecommuting" thing you have, and that you need special gear to do it, is dead, dead, dead. Everyone is "telecommuting."

 

This is the issue for most companies and IT departments: not if they will allow telecommuting/remote working, but how they will manage it. How do you deal with every employee wanting to BYOD, (Bring Your Own Device), expecting that they can get to the resources they need from home, in a hotel, or on an airplane? When everyone working for you has a smartphone, how do you justify making them carry two? When everyone buys a personal tablet, how do you say, "No! You may not use that for work!" (More importantly, why would you say that?)