I saw an Associated Press article that asked a provoking question in its headline: “Winter’s coming – time to let workers telecommute?”

That’s a good question, considering the blizzards in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and other parts of the Midwest. The article offers a thought provoking look at the pros and cons of telecommuting.

“With these early signs of winter, small business owners may want to think about letting workers telecommute rather than contend with snow, sleet and ice. And maybe think about allowing them to telecommute long-term,” writes Joyce M. Rosenberg of the Associated Press.

“Telecommuting employees fall into two categories. Many do it periodically, during an emergency such as bad weather or because they have to care for sick children. But workers at many companies have been telecommuting full-time or almost full-time for years.”

The article goes on to discuss the management issues involved in telecommuting, when employees should put in a “guest appearance,” and dealing with technical issues. Many of the technical glitches can be avoided from the start by using a reputable virtual office provider with state-of-the-art technology.

Virtual office technologies like Cisco’s WebEx are proven reliable, and they are even more affordable as part of a total virtual office package Davinci Virtual has put together. You can create an end-to-end virtual office solution for your company that includes virtual office space, a virtual receptionist, virtual assistants, Live Web Chat, web conferencing and more.

So as the weather chills, consider if you want your business to be considered for one of those ‘best places to work’ lists. Many of those companies, large and small, have a common trait: telecommuting and virtual offices. If you aren’t ready to buy into a virtual office solution for telecommuting on a regular basis, wisdom dictates at least putting a plan in place for snowy days when it’s not safe to get to the office.