You can keep it local, productive and profitable in a global economy. Really.

I remember 10 years ago when the VC money washed ashore along Silicon Beach (Santa Cruz, CA) and incubating startups prospered from Scotts Valley to Aptos.

Then the tide went out and didn't come back – and it took with it a lot of local talent and tax base.

That's why it was refreshing to read about local startup here in Santa Cruz called NextSpace, where for around $200 per month, freelancers, entrepreneurs and home office workers can have access to Wi-Fi, couches and tables and reserve a conference room. For $1,000 per month, they can have their own private office with a lock on the door, overlooking downtown.

Santa Cruz isn't the only city to do this – many cities and companies around the globe focusing on the fact that folks are social by nature and prefer to work around others some portion or their work week as opposed to be in a work-at-home silo. Just another spin on telecommuting that will hopefully help to keep key talent and entrepreneurs at home as opposed to up and moving elsewhere.

We've done our own bit to foster telecommuting for our core team as well. In order to attract and keep talent today in the technology and service industries, companies have to be creative and be open to offering benefits such as telecommuting – whether they're outfitting key employees to work from home part-time or full-time, or paying for space at ventures such as NextSpace.

Mark commented recently on companies' paranoia when they allow (reluctantly) employees to work from home. It's pretty pathetic and I know most of you would never work for a company like that no matter what they offered you.

While I agree that companies need to evaluate who gets to telecommute and who doesn't depending on their roles and responsibilities, establish smart schedules and productivity guidelines, your organization's leadership and HR team are the ones responsible for creating a professional work environment for professionals who are professional (yeah!), fostering loyalty and profitable growth.

All right? You can keep it local, productive and profitable in a global economy. Really. Now get back to work. I'm watching you.

Post by Kevin Grossman

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