Archive for January, 2012

Virginia Offers Tax Breaks to Promote Remote Work

January 12th, 2012

Virginia officials have recently announced tax breaks for companies who set up remote work systems for their employees. The law will give companies $1,200 in tax credits per employee for expenses related to telecommuting, up to $50,000. Expenses concern needed equipment, such as modems, computers, internet connections and remote working systems such as remote desktop solutions or web collaboration tools.

These benefits will be offered to Virginia companies who implement telecommuting starting the 1st January 2012.   With this new law, state officials expect to reduce Virginia’s transportation problems by encouraging companies to keep their employees at home.

According to Fairfaz County Supervisor Jeff McKay, D-Lee, “it’s a lot more inexpensive to deal with our transportation problem than it is to just keep building roads.”

But it’s about more than just roads, it’s also about making employees happy and helping the environment.

“I have seen personally the benefits of telecommuting, and I think we should replicate that throughout Northern Virginia,” stated Del. Mark Keam, D-Vienna, who is backing the law.

“It’s had a tremendous benefit to us personally, because the fact that my wife doesn’t have to travel to Alexandria every day means she can be here when the kids get home from school,” he added.

These tax breaks make of Virginia one of the few states in the U.S. that actively supports and encourages remote working.

“Virginia’s been ahead of the game since Tim Kaine was governor, because he really was behind telework,” stated Chuck Wilsker, president of the Telework Coalition.

In the Washington area there are 600,000 that work remotely on occasion, with an extra 500,000 ready to start if their companies implement real-time collaboration systems and solutions which allow them to work from their homes.

With today’s technologies, remote work can be seamlessly implemented allowing employees to work from their homes as if they were in their offices. Web conferencing tools allow them to collaborate on the same project and remote access solutions allow them to access their office computers and networks from their home computers, granting them access to everything they might need to perform their work at the best of their capabilities.

Remote working solutions, such as RHUB 6-in-1 web conferencing and remote support appliance, give companies all they need to implement telecommuting and start taking advantage of the tax break their state offers them. These solutions have remote desktop and web meeting tools in the same package as well as integrated video conferencing and audio conferencing services which make communication much easier and clearer.  RHUB is named a Best Product of 2011 by Government Computer News (GCN) because of its “excellent price, ease of setup and the fact that it fills a specific need.”

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Does Too Much Connectivity Ruin Your Holidays?

January 4th, 2012

The holiday season has come and gone and many workers were expecting to have a break from their work during the festive season, but could they really get away?

According to a survey from Regus, 64% of US workers would be working during the last week of the year with a little more than half of them (56%) going to the office to do so, which means that some of them would be working remotely during the holidays.

Still, the same survey shows that 39% of the respondents believe that the work they will be doing during the holidays won’t be productive, while 58% believe that they will be using their time to wrap up unfinished tasks.

But do companies really benefit from having workers working when they should be spending some time with families?

As Guillermo Rotman, CEO Americas, Regus, simply put it: “Are workers choosing to power through the break really producing the best value for their efforts? Many managers believe that time off with the family can give employees a refreshed outlook and a chance to decompress before returning to work.”

But what about those that have chosen to stay at home with their families and to disconnect completely from their work? Could they really get away?

With Americans using more and more computer devices every year (a recent report stated that 63% were using at least two devices and that 15% were using four or more different devices in their daily and working lives) it might be difficult to stay away from work. Even if they don’t go to their offices their offices can come to them.

In fact, a report shows that 83% of Americans find it is necessary to remotely access their working space while they are away from the office and 74% have stated that doing so is important while on vacation.

With the proliferation of many remote access solutions, like RHUB TurboMeeting appliance, it is easier than ever to stay at home and work remotely. While remote access solutions have brought so many benefits to employees and workers around the world, the fact is that establishing boundaries between work and home has become more difficult. It remains one of the biggest challenges to all the remote workers in the world.  Happy New Year!

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