Telecoms giant O2 has closed down its Slough headquarters for one day as part of a massive telecommuting pilot programme.
The company said that the project would see 3,000 employees spend the day working from home to test its ability to manage remote workers and cut facilities costs.
"We believe a cultural step-change is underway affecting staff and businesses, as work increasingly becomes something we do, rather than a place that we go," said O2 business manager Ben Dowd.
"Today's office-wide flexible working initiative is an opportunity for us to take the next step on our flexible working journey and tangibly demonstrate the opportunity and potential available to British businesses today."
The test will also help the company cut power costs and reduce its carbon footprint.
Last Autumn, O2 launched Joined up People, a platform designed to support remote workers.
By keeping workers at home, firms can also save energy and reduce emissions by eliminating employees' travel to work.
"We practice what we preach, and by asking O2 employees to work together as a team to test the company’s flexible working practices for themselves, we want to show that there are no limits, no matter how big or small your business is," said Dowd.
"By sharing experiences from across our business, from business divisions to operations, we hope to encourage more organisations to help their workforce become mobile."
Remote working is not without its challenges, however.
Aside from the logistical issues of connecting remotely with network infrastructure, employees who work from home also present security and compliance headaches when accessing secured and sensitive company and customer data.
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