Fergus Falls is all for Telecommuting

Last week I wrote about telecommuting in Minnesota, mentioning the move by Yahoo and Best Buy to curb telecommuting in their own offices. I’m not surprised to see others chiming in too – especially in Fergus Falls, a place that has really focused on telecommuting as an economic development strategy. This week the Fergus Falls Journal has run a story on the local impact of telecommuting

There are about 350 teleworkers in Fergus Falls, and the number is growing, according to Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Executive Director Harold Stanislawski. …

Stanislawski said he has been in talks with major companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, to expand job opportunities. But while the Twin Cities touts easing traffic congestion as one of the top benefits, Stanislawski puts new job creation at the top of the list. …

A basic concern for employers is whether or not telecommuting employees will really be working. Stanislawski said research is overwhelming in proving that on average employee productivity actually increases with telecommuting.

The article cites some of the same advantages I noted for workers – you get to be home for your family and you have access to jobs that may not reside in your zip code. I noted Fergus Fall in my original post too. They really have made a concerted effort to encourage telecommuting. This article mentions a local take on a job listing service designed to help get people telecommuting jobs…

Mary Robertson reviews telecommuting opportunities for the Economic Improvement Commission’s Telework Initiative in Fergus Falls, and sends out opportunities weekly to those that have signed up for free.

“We use flexjobs.com because it seems to have the most opportunities, but do encourage people to use minnesotaworks.net too,” Robertson said.

Using search criteria to view all new jobs in Minnesota that allow telecommuting, Robertson pulled up 1,794 opportunities on her computer. While most were technical positions, there were several opportunities in marketing, writing, social media, sales and customer service.

Robertson looks at each opportunity to see if it has restrictions, such as a whether a worker must be located in a certain state or area, but until a potential telecommuter contacts an employer, they won’t really know all of the requirements and restrictions.

Robertson then sends out job listings to the email database.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, economic development, MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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