The Washington Times - January 13, 2009, 12:03PM

The self-interest is obvious: Verizon, the area’s telecom titan, is urging those who can stay home and telecommute on Inauguration Day to do so and avoid what are expected to be massive traffic jams as a crowd anticipated to be in the millions turns out for the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama. For Verizon, the “win” is selling more telecommunications service.

But I’ve advocated telecommuting for years, and still do (are you reading this, Boss?): There’s just too many of us on the road, and if we can work from home, even one or two days a week, that might be a blessing all the way around.


Here’s Verizon’s pitch, which contains a couple of useful links:


With unprecedented travel and security restrictions in place for the presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20, and millions of expected attendees, Verizon is joining with The Telework Coalition to encourage the use of teleworking technologies so that District-area businesses and organizations can stay up and running.

“Many Washington-area companies will be closing their downtown offices on Inauguration Day; but their businesses can continue without interruption, through teleworking technologies that keep the virtual workplace in full swing,” said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president of global business products with Verizon. “Broadband communications tools, secure virtual private networks, and audio, video and Web conferencing make work an event, not a place.”

A broadband connection, a laptop or home PC, secure remote access into a company’s network, and a phone or voice-over-IP connection are the basic tools needed for area workers to keep their businesses up and running. Security solutions to protect company information and identities are also critical when deploying an appropriate telework capability. Companies that have already enabled teleworking capabilities for employees can put these tools into action, rather than shutting down operations and risking lost productivity and revenue.

For companies that do not yet have a telework policy or technological capabilities in place for employees, now is the ideal time to begin implementing a teleworking strategy, which can serve as a business lifeline during planned events such as the Inauguration, or unforeseen natural or manmade events and disasters.

Chuck Wilsker, CEO and president of The Telework Coalition and a fellow member of the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign, said, “We are encouraging area businesses that have teleworking technology in place to use it to their advantage. All transportation routes throughout the region will be impacted by the Inaugural activities. It could be as if we were hit by a human hurricane.”

Added Wilsker, “Telework is a win-win – it helps businesses operate flexibly while giving them a competitive advantage by enabling virtually anytime/anyplace work for greater business productivity and energy conservation resulting from reduced real estate and business travel.”

Who fits the teleworker profile? The term teleworker is often misconstrued to mean solely an employee who works from home. However, the term also applies to employees who are based in the field — at client sites for example — or who work at employer-designated locations that are closer to their homes.

Verizon Powers Teleworking

Through a variety of access methods, Verizon can provide the connectivity for workers to securely access corporate e-mail, files, collaboration tools and other resources from locations other than a physical office. Among the access methods are Verizon FiOS and DSL broadband connections; wireless data connections through EVDO over the Verizon Wireless 3G network; IP virtual private networks (VPN); satellite technology; and solutions that provide direct access to Private IP, Verizon Business’ global MPLS-based enterprise application network.

And through Verizon’s managed service offerings, customers have the assurance that critical infrastructure is designed and monitored to provide reliable, high-performance operations.

Verizon can also provide companies with professional services expertise to tailor a teleworking strategy suited to a company’s specifications and needs. In addition, Verizon provides contact center solutions for at-home customer service agents, as well as audio, video and Web conferencing solutions to replace the need for business travel while speeding business decision-making to help increase productivity.

To learn more about the key benefits, business drivers and challenges of deploying a teleworking strategy, listen to a podcast by Nancy Gofus here: