Working remotely has been a privilege only some employees have been able to enjoy. New technology, however, is allowing for telecommuting to be a part of many more industries.
According to the Idaho Business Review, Pioneer Federal Credit Union recently started using interactive teller machines with video conferencing capability to act like ATMs. The advent of these new machines enables bank tellers to work from remote locations and control all the functions of the machine without actually being there.
“They allow credit unions and banks to widen their footprint without a high cost,” said Scott Fieber, former account manager of the company that developed the software for the remote teller machines.
Banks can now run several drive-though interactive locations using just one regularly staffed office. Over 300 financial institutions are using this technology across the nation.
“Some financial institutions have placed them in drive up locations,” Fieber said. “Others have put them on campuses and in hospitals.”
Telecommuting affects so many industries nowadays, and roughly 67% of employees believe that their productivity increases while they are working remotely. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reports that 80 to 90% of U.S. workers agree that they would like to work remotely at least part-time. The general consensus is that two to three days a week would provide a good mix of autonomous concentrative working at home or remotely and collaborative in the office work.
Technology like this will allow banks to remain open on Saturday and Sunday without anyone actually being in the branch location.
“It works the same way as your traditional drive-through,” said Tracey Newbery, Pioneer Federal Vice President of branch operations, “except you don’t put money through the vacuum. The teller comes up and controls the machine. All the customer needs to do is put the cash in.”
The prices of these machines — once the bank has the necessary software — are about as much as regular ATMs.