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Managing Remote Workers

Sounds like it's as easy as pushing a button, but managing workers remotely takes a lot of learning, communication and trust, as these entrepreneurs found out.

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Work used to be a place where you went. But today, work is an activity instead of a location. And thanks to better, faster, cheaper and more flexible IT, employees and entrepreneurs can work from home, from the road, and from the other side of the world.

Long ago, telework passed from theory into practice. Now it's moving from unusual to ubiquitous. Fifty-four percent of companies worldwide reported having teleworkers in 2003, a number that will rise to more than 80 percent in 2005, says a survey conducted for AT&T by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the information arm of The Economist magazine. Forty-four million U.S. employees work from home at least part time--a number that will rise to 51 million by 2008, according to a 2004 survey by Scottsdale, , market research company In-Stat/MDR.

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