Here in southeast England, we recently had a couple of inches of snow. Although the snow didn’t fall enough to cause any problems, it brings back memories of 2011 and 2010. When we experienced over 10 inches of snow and public transport services grounded to a halt.It’s not just snow that can cause commuting chaos. Industrial action can mean employees are unable to travel to their usual workplace, and those of us in and around the London area are anticipating serious travel problems during the 2012 Olympics.So what do you do when you or your team can’t travel to work?Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.All you need is a non-geographic phone number (NGN) for your business, an IP phone (Internet Protocol) using a landline number (01 or 02) and a computer with an internet connection, all in the comfort of your own home.With IP Telephony, you can use your non-geographic phone number in all your marketing materials and clients need never know where you are. When they call it’s automatically diverted to your IP phone or mobile, wherever you may be. When you dial out, the main office number shows up on the receiving handset.With IP Telephony and non-geographic numbers you can still utilize the complete range of call management facilities. These include recording calls if you need to, using a whisper to alert you that the incoming call is a business call and if you miss a call, your voicemail messages can be emailed to you. A massive boom is on the way, with 350,000 people already using VoIP telephony in the UK, expected to rise to 2.36 million by 2013 (Illume Consulting).New technology is not the only reason why home working is a growing trend. It also means no hassle, reduced environmental impact, and no time lost on crowded public transport or in traffic jams. What’s more, home working can save a fortune! A central office amounts to huge overheads in terms of rent and utilities. Any business can save costs by blending two or three days of home working with two or three days of ‘hot-desking’ in the office (hot-desking is a shared desk space in a central location). And on those occasions when face-to-face communication can’t be beaten, you can use Skype or Google+ Hangouts, both of which are free.British Telecom has 15,000 homeworkers out of 92,000 employees. The company says that homeworkers save an average of £6,000 a year each, are 20% more productive and take fewer sick days.At HSBC, 15,000 of the bank’s 35,000 UK staff have the ability to work from home. HSBC spokesman Mark Hemingway says: “For admin work we actively organise it so that people can work from home. The rewards for the firm are higher productivity, low absenteeism and better staff retention.”There is research showing that people are more productive at home, according to Cary Cooper, Professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster University Management School.Source of quotes- BBC NewsAdmittedly, there are certain organisations where home working is impossible – retail and manufacturing spring to mind. But more and more businesses offer services that can just as easily be delivered remotely. If you are looking into homeworking you may want to consider the following:Employees may find it easier to concentrate at home, without interruptions from colleagues. Planning your own time while home working can also allow the employee to do the school run in the day or care for elderly parents if needed.It’s important to keep a distinction between home and work. Some may be tempted to check emails throughout the night or put on the washing during office hours. Place a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the office door to ensure that family or friends don’t interrupt during business hours.Home working is managed by the individual and some businesses may think if your physical presence isn’t seen in and around the office you are not caring out work tasks or making beneficial contributes. A company home working reward scheme could be implemented so that employees are paid for deliverables. This would mean it doesn’t matter where, when or how you do the job, just as long as you produce what you’re paid to.If you’re concerned about health & safety issues, you’ll find plenty of guidance about home working for employers, employees and self-employed people on the HSE website.