When I started out in the IT business, you had to be on site at a client pretty much all of the time. In fact, you often had to be holed up in the server room, which was often like a closet. Unless work could be taken away in its entirety and returned to the client completed, there was no room for working remotely.
How things have changed! Today, through token-based VPNs and remote server connections, virtually anything can be done online remotely. Because of remote technology, I have literally served clients from coast to coast from my home-based office, and I regularly receive inquiries about my services from around the world.
And yet… there are clients who persist in on-site thinking. I regularly see a posting for a contract in Kamloops BC that requires a 6 month on-site engagement. Evidently from the number of times I have seen this posting, they are having trouble filling it. Each time I see it I ask myself “why not remote?”
Now, there may be valid reasons for this such as security or team communication but even these concerns can be addressed with careful management, technological creativity and some limited business travel. I think what it really comes down to is trust. Establishing trust between a client and a consultant is critical, particularly in the early stages of an engagement and almost certainly requires at least some face time. But after that critical phase is passed, is there really any reason you need another body in your office from 9 to 5?