Employees opting to skip the commute and work from remotely have risen by 39% in the U.S. between 2006 and 2008 and corporations are starting to realize the cost savings. From a technology standpoint, setting up an employees at home (or at a location other than the corporate office) is rather simple – give them a laptop and an IP phone and no one is the wiser about where they are working from – whether wearing business casual at the office or your chenille robe at home. Most companies use some type of hosted server so that clients can access files.
But….what about licensing? When employees choose to use their home computers and access company files and programs, how do you remain compliant with licensing policies? At least with Microsoft, this software vendor offers special Work at Home (WAH) products through Select and Enterprise Agreements that allow customers to use certain volume licensing products on home computers. You must purchase a WAH license to correspond with each onsite license – therefore two licenses for each employee on each product. If you don’t…you’re out of compliance. It wouldn’t surprise me if more than 75% of companies with remote workers have this issue during audits.
The following WAH are available from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/product-licensing.aspx#tab=2 .
When acquiring these licenses, like anything else – read your terms and conditions. They are very specific as to who, what, where, why, when and how you can use a license!