Business and Telecommuting

December 2nd, 2011

Isaac Asimov once said, “The only constant is change.” This is not only true in life, but in business as well. One trend that has changed in recent times is the popularity of telecommuting. Even though many people have differing opinions concerning this, it has not been around long enough, on a big enough scale, to see its true impact on business. Some of the common question business owners ask themselves when deciding if allowing employees to telecommute are, “Will it make the employees more productive, happier, lonelier, disconnected, or more connected? Will telecommuting negatively or positively affect the company culture?” It’s a tough decision, and like most tough decisions, there isn’t one answer that works for everyone.

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

Pros

  • Telecommuters work longer hours, as they aren’t wasting time commuting.
  • Telecommuters are less stressed when working in the privacy of their own home.
  • Telecommuters can adjust their working hours around their lives and the hours they are most productive – even if that is at three a.m.
  • Telecommuting is great for those who do not thrive in the standard structured nine-to-five work environment.
  • Self-reliance and time management skills are encouraged by telecommuting.
  • Employers can hire highly skilled individuals without paying for moving costs.
  • Telecommuting can save the employee and employer money.

Consof course, there’s a flip side to every coin

  • Telecommuters may suffer burnout if they work excessively.
  • A lack of socialization for individuals who crave social interaction can cause depression and loneliness.
  • Poor time management skills may lead to a lack of productivity
  • Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
  • Telecommuting can require a little more time than normal to set up a home 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, and finally managers must 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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