Friday, December 2, 2011

Is Telecommuting the Future of Business or Will it Fade Out?

Trends in business change every day. One trend that appears to be gaining momentum is telecommuting, but is it a trend at all? There are plenty of opinions around whether telecommuting is good for business or not. Some of the questions raised are, “Will it make employees more productive? Will they be happier, lonelier, more connected or less? What are the benefits to the company?” These are all issues to consider when deciding if telecommuting is a good fit for your company’s culture.

There are some great benefits to telecommuting.  We’ve given you several pros and cons to consider below:

Pros

  • As people aren’t wasting time and money commuting they often work longer hours.
  • Telecommuting employees are generally less stressed.
  • 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 productivity time, even if it’s midnight, can be a relief to the traditional structured nine-to-five
  • Telecommuting is great for those who do not thrive in the typical structured nine-to-five work environment.
  • Telecommuting encourages self-reliance and problem solving, and develops time management skills.
  • Telecommuting also gives employers more freedom to hire skilled individuals minus the cost of moving them across the globe.
  • Both the telecommuter and the employer save time and money.

Consthe other side of the coin

  • Telecommuting can lead to burnout especially for those with poor time management skills, which in turn results in resentment of the company.
  • A lack of socialization for individuals who crave social interaction can cause depression and loneliness.
  • Telecommuters can suffer a lack of motivation and if a manager isn’t fully engaged in the employee’s daily workload, the employee may take advantage and slack off.
  • 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.

For both manager and employee, successful telecommuting takes strong communication, time management skills, and clarity of job responsibilities. We are seeing more and more people desiring an independent working environment. But in the end, whether telecommuting will work or not, depend on the company’s culture and the employees’ mindset. Tell us what you think; will telecommuting be the way most businesses are organized in the future or will it fade out?

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