Telecommuting – Is It Right For Your Company?

Posted on May 5, 2014

Sebastian Telecommuting

Do you work from home? Or maybe a better question is, ‘do you want to work from home’?

The thought of waking up in the morning, grabbing a cup of coffee from the kitchen and cracking open the laptop from a home office, or even the kitchen, is enough to make most commuters drool. But is telecommuting really everything it’s cracked up to be?

According to a 2011 article by Reuters, telecommuting means “employees who work remotely from their office, communicating by email, phone or online chats, either daily or occasionally.”

The technology to work outside of the cubicle is here, and the idea is catching on more than you may realize. As much as 37 percent of employees would take a 10% pay cut if they could take their job to the home, says a Global Workplace Analytics poll involving 1,500 technology professionals.

But What’s The Catch?

Before you can consider if this work setup is even compatible with your business, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons. We’ll help you start that process right now.

Advantages

  • Increased Productivity, when well-managed, telecommuting can boost employee morale when employees feel they have more control over their work spaces
  • Decreased Absenteeism, workers are more likely to get some work done on trips or even when they are sick at home if their employers make it accessible to work outside of the office
  • Higher Financial Savings, $11,000 per person, per year, that’s the average business savings for those that allow telecommuting during half of the work week
  • Expanded Candidate Pool, as much as 79% of workers want telecommuting as a work option, says Global Workplace Analytics, and what better way to attract more prospective employees than with an accommodating workplace
  • Reduced Stress, employers want workers to be well rested and ready for the difficult tasks ahead, and alleviating office fatigue and long driving commutes can go a long way

Disadvantages

  • Less Face-To-Face Time, not enough tangible connection can cause confusion, slow-down, and resentment among employees if there’s not enough team effort
  • Higher Burnout Risk, once the job enters the home, telecommuting can be abused by workaholics who don’t pull the plug very easily and neglect necessary rest, causing instability for themselves and their employers
  • Increased Planning, more telecommuting employees requires even more careful planning by the office staff to make sure tasks are completed on time and effectively, and this could complicate matters and add unnecessary stress
  • Initial High Expenses, setting up home offices and supplying employees with company laptops and other necessary equipment may be too much of an upfront cost
  • Complicating Work Issues, whether it’s with work equipment or technological problems, or even when the issue requires a group response, telecommuting can drastically harm efficiency

Of course, the chances of successful telecommuting greatly depends on a disciplined staff committed to completing the tasks at hand. If that passion flows from workplace to home, and with the help of online conferencing technology, we are more equipped than ever to make work at the kitchen table a realistic option.