Since the advent of technology and the internet, the way people conduct their business and corporate employees report for work have never been the same again. With the power of connectivity and internet access, a new form of work arrangement emerged: telecommuting. This has allowed employees to work from another location, either from home or a café, other than the office so long as they can communicate with people from the office and do accomplish their tasks. Although this practice is gaining popularity, there are also some hesitations about telecommuting. Let us look at some of the views from proponents and opponents of this work arrangement.
List of Advantages of Telecommuting
1. Increased Employee Satisfaction
People who advocate for telecommuting posit that allowing employees to work from a remote location gives them the freedom to get away from work routine and make them feel the company is looking out for them. This makes the employees more satisfied and happy with their jobs which can result to increased production.
2. Personal Work Balance
With the arrangements of telecommuting, employees can have a more meaningful life, both in his personal life and career. Being able to work from home or a nearby location makes it possible for a worker to lessen travel time and the stress of commuting. The saved time can also be used for other activities that are equally productive. Lastly, the employee can balance the time between work and socializing with colleagues as well as spending more time with family.
3. Employee Retention
Another advantage of telecommuting is increased retention of employees. Say, an employee is undergoing a major life change like relocating to another place. With telecommuting, the employee will be able to work from home while moving from the old house to the new one. And if the office is not proximal to the new location, being able to work remotely can make an effective and competent employee a loyal part of the team.
4. Operational Costs Reduction
Telecommuting is not only directly beneficial to the employees but also to the company as well. This practice allows the management to cut down on expenses like parking spaces, office facilities and utilities. With lesser employees reporting for work at the office, the company can save on computer use, light and water.
List of Disadvantages of Telecommuting
One of the drawbacks of being able to work remotely or from home is losing concentration on the task at hand. If an employee is within the comforts of his or her home, distractions like watching television, social media activities and even household chores can be tempting. This can also result to less productivity and loss of sales and profit.
2. Breach of Security
If an employee works from another location, he or she will be given a pass code to get connected. This can be exposed to hackers or unwanted intruders since accessing from a remote location can sometimes create holes in connection security.
3. Effect on Employee Morale
If a company allows key employees like supervisors and managers who are looked up to by other employees to telecommute, this can affect the morale of members of the team who are left behind. This can also affect the decisions needed to be made since it can be difficult to decide without people brainstorming for the solutions of the problem personally.
Telecommuting has its benefits but there are also drawbacks to this practice. It is best for the company and its employees to talk about this and extensive analysis should be done if this will work for the team or not.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.