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Business and Telecommuting

Business Technology | December 2, 2011

Business trends change from year to year and sometimes even monthly. One of the most debated about trends is telecommuting. There are a number of views concerning Telecommuting; unfortunately, as it is a relatively recent trend there is not much data around it. Does it make employees more efficient or not? Does it make them happier, lonelier, disconnected, or more connected? What about the cost for the company? Does it cost more or less? These are a few of the many questions businesses must contemplate when deciding if allowing employees to telecommute fits their company’s structure and style.

Some studies show there are huge benefits to telecommuting. We’ve laid out several pros and cons below:

Pros

  • As people aren’t wasting time and money commuting they often work longer hours.
  • Telecommuters are less stressed when working in the privacy of their own home.
  • Telecommuters are happier, as they have more freedom to manage work time with their family lives. Having the freedom to pick up the kids, or work during their prime efficiency time, even if it’s midnight, can be a relief to the traditional structured nine-to-five
  • Telecommuters are generally more productive.
  • Telecommuting encourages self-reliance and problem solving, and develops time management skills.
  • Telecommuting enables employers to hire highly trained people.
  • Both the telecommuter and the employer save time and money.

Consthe flip side

  • Telecommuting can lead to burnout especially for those with poor time management skills, which often contributes to resentment of the company.
  • Telecommuters often complain of being isolated and feeling lonely or depressed from lack of socialization.
  • Telecommuting can lead to an absence of motivation, as there is not a physical tie to the rest of the team.
  • Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
  • Setting up a home office effectively can take more time than setting up in-office.

At the end of the day, successful telecommuting takes strong time management skills from the employee, strong communication lines between the manager and the employees, last but not least managers need to have a strong understanding of the responsibilities of their employees and the time it takes them to complete the tasks. As we move deeper into this technological age, we see that people enjoy independent working more and more. So will telecommuting be the future of business or is it just a trend? What do you think?


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