Known colloquially as MOOF, Microsoft’s Mobile Out Of Office is literally going out on a limb to show companies that workers like the idea of telecommuting.
The company built a tree-house office in a park in London, and the software giant‘s message is that corporate decisions don‘t always need to be dictated within the confines of four walls and harsh fluorescent lighting.
In the United Kingdom, Microsoft research shows that nine out of 10 British workers desire an out-of-office setting — with 75% saying this flexibility is a huge factor in deciding whether to accept a new job opportunity.
It is expected that by 2012, the United Kingdom will have over 5.5 million remote workers.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released American Community Service analysis shows that approximately 4% of Americans worked from home in 2005.
This is despite a Korn/Ferry survey of 1,320 executives showing that 61% believe telecommuters are less likely to be promoted, compared to their on-site colleagues.
The Census Bureau report shows the cities with the highest rates of home-based workers include Austin, Texas (5%); Colorado Springs, Colorado (5%); Portland, Oregon (5.3%); San Francisco (6.3%); and Seattle (5.1%).
(The Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act to prohibit states from taxing non-residents on the income they earn at home is one piece of pending legislation that might remove obstacles to the growth of interstate telework.)
Although the short-lived stint in the tree has ended (the tree-house office was recently dismantled), your company can still champion the MOOF movement. To read more about users’ MOOF-ing experiences, the blog www.moof.mobi offers advice, questions, and feedback.