Telework ®

San Bernardino County TeleBusiness Centers - A Survey of Local Interests

Technology Place conducted a post-implementation survey and study of local business and community interests in San Bernardino County to determine their awareness and their acceptance of telecommuting centers one year after implementation. This project was conducted in conjunction with The Planning Center (Newport Beach, CA).

The firm interviewed three major types of respondents:

  • those involved closely with the projects
  • those with some knowledge of the projects
  • those with little or no direct knowledge of the projects

    Individuals represented program sponsors, supporters, consultants, municipalities, state and federal agencies, regional associations, ridematching organizations, colleges/universities, incubator/business associations, executive office suite management and private business professional from the real estate, accounting, legal, publications, transportation, telecommunications, technology, entertainment, aerospace/defense, and insurance industries.

    The final project report summarized findings in six subject areas:

  • project objectives
  • performance indicators
  • facility analysis
  • leasing strategies
  • technology
  • support services

    The study recommendations, developed along these lines, included the following:

    1. a clearer focus on project objectives was needed, oriented to increasing actual attendance at the centers
    2. more objective and measurable performance indicators should be established, with an emphasis on occupancy
    3. the evaluation and selection of facilities should be integrated with market demand, traffic flows, and available business/employee support services rather than simple availability of space
    4. longer term leasing strategies were needed to look beyond the demonstration period
    5. centers needed a technology strategy that enhanced occupants' access to information, clients, businesses, but which was also secure
    6. centers needed to develop a network or mobile support infrastructure to provide essential employee and business services without generating individual trips.

    Location: San Bernardino, CA

    San Bernardino County Telebusiness Centers: Market and Financial Analysis

    Technology Place summarized the findings from an analysis of the market area and the operating finances of the telebusiness centers located in San Bernardino County.

    The market analysis suggested that the population concentrations in the East San Bernardino Valley and higher income residential communities of Victor Valley offered opportunities for a network of small community-oriented telecommuting centers if they were located in a manner that could "capture" commuters at or near their residential areas.

    Second, the study consolidated all available project cost data, from both sponsors and supporters, into a spreadsheet showing monthly outlays over the life of the project and forecast annual expenses and revenues into the post-demonstration period. This analysis showed that level of ongoing financial support (or the required increase in per workstation fees) that would be required to maintain the centers in the future.

    Third, the project recommended a more business-oriented approach to marketing and promoting the centers, focusing on private enterprise's concerns with saving time and reducing office costs rather than the more esoteric and unmeasurable community side benefits of reducing congestion and improving air quality. It was suggested that trip reduction benefits could be achieved, but only in those cases where business perceived the primary shorter-term benefits to their bottom line would result from their participation in the telecommuting centers program. A broader marketing strategy was required, reaching beyond the limited marketplace of the ridematching agency clientele, in order to penetrate the larger market of all potential employers and employees.

    Finally, the short term "demonstration" nature of the centers was found to be a deterrent to business' long term acceptance of the centers as a viable workplace option. Long term financial support would be attracted to facilities which had credibility as a relatively more permanent facility.

    Date: 1992
    Location: San Bernardino, CA
    Client: San Bernardino County/Cities, Planning Departments
    Contact: Julie Hemphill
    Prime: The Planning Center
    Contact: Susan DeSantis

    Corporate Telecommuting Strategies

    Technology Place assisted GTE California Inc. in developing the basis and strategy for that firm's initial involvement in the implementation of telecommuting centers.

    Technology Place also provided the client with a "Financial Assessment of Telecommuting Centers", a review of the financial operating experience of two telecommuting centers in Southern California.

    Location:Thousand Oaks, CA
    Client: GTE California Inc.
    Contacts: Marti Schmidt, Pegi Matsuda, David Fisher

    Telecommuting Centers: Project Snapshots and Issues Analysis

    Technology Place began monitoring different examples of mobile and flexible office constructs in the late 1980s in an effort to document the changing profiles of the work place, toward bringing the office closer to the worker. The firm has produced both survey material and detailed studies, describing the full range of alternative forms of telecommuting centers in the business world as well as the business rationale for their creation.

    In November 1993, Ms. Ghaffari was invited to participate in an international workshop on Telecommunications and Economic Development, sponsored by the London Borough of Croydon, where she was asked to provide an overview and perspective on the current California experience with telecommunications: whether the state was a leader or follower of national trends. Her paper was entitled, "Telecommunications and Cities: A California Perspective" (presented to the London Borough of Croydon Council and Croydon Economic and Strategic Development Unit, November 17, 1993).

    Some of Technology Place's early research was summarized in "Telecommuting Centers: Past, Present and Prologue to Another Future" (a paper presented to the Pacific Telecommunications Council, Honolulu, Hawaii: January 15, 1991).

    Technology Place has continued to analyze the operations of specific business examples of alternative forms of telecommuting centers including the following:

  • Comm Centers: Local Work Centers for Independent Executives
  • Saztek International (Kansas City, MO): Little Telework Shop Now A Global Competitor
  • Multi-Service Centers (State of Maryland)
  • Shiki Satellite Center (Japan)
  • The Japanese 'Technopolis' and the Australian "Multi-Function Polis'

    These and other examples were consolidated into a summary report, "Telecommuting Centers: A Survey", covering urban planning approaches, corporate programs, international projects, and U.S. variations on the theme of telecommuting (including travel-oriented business services, mobile offices, etc.)

    Specific issue papers developed by Technology Place in response to specific client requests, include the following:

  • Telecommuting Timeline: A Thirty-Year History
  • The Telecommuting Advisory Council: History and Profile of Members
  • The Telecommuting Objective
  • Enhanced Business Productivity
  • Organizational Barriers
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Lessons Learned from the State of California Telecommuting Project
  • Telecommuting Videos

    Location: Santa Monica, CA

    Telework ®and Telework Centers ® Research

    As part of Technology Place's ongoing research and product/service development in the field of telecommuting centers, the firm has developed an extensive analytical library of resources which are provided to selected clients.

    This material summarizes some of the objective research conducted by academic professionals and specialists in workforce analytics who have examined telecommuting from the perspective of the work place, the work content, and the inter-relationships among office personnel. These professionals suggest:

      "... that telecommuting is an important framework for organizational and human change in a world where technology plays an ever-increasing and important role."
    The study presents the findings of 19 such research endeavors conducted by 16 individuals or organizations in the U.S. and abroad, with a concentration on how telecommuting alters or is influenced by the key element of organizations:

  • the people
  • the tasks
  • the technology

    Location: Santa Monica, CA

    Telework ® for Economic Development

    Technology Place produces a client newsletter which focuses on "Monitoring technology's influence on local and regional business activity". In the past, newsletter subject matter has reviewed a contemporary theme in technology as applied to business problems:

  • 1990: corporate regional office networks
  • 1991: innovative technology uses in other states
  • 1992: emerging delivery platforms
  • 1993: cable and telephone competition
  • 1994: Internet access and services issue

  • . . . we make your complex world
    by bringing emerging technology
    home to business.

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