Telecommuting is a new format of working that has been growing in popularity over the past 10 years. The idea of telecommuting allows employees to complete the lion’s share of their work from a location of their choosing. Some employees choose to work from home while others decide to divide their time between cafes, co-working spaces, and even remote locations.
Discover some of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of telecommuting before your company makes the big change.
What Is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting is when a company allows its employees (or certain employees) to work from home via their personal internet connection. The employees perform all of the same tasks and functions as they would perform in the office. As it is, the only difference is that the employees work either from home or from a remote office location.
Employees may use a variety of technological devices to assist them in accessing company mainframes and technologies from their respective locations.
Many employees log into a secure server to connect to a company’s system. Others might use teleconferencing software, such as Skype, to attend meetings or “meet” with clients.
Who Uses Telecommuting?
There is a wide range of employees, supervisors, and managers who could make use of telecommuting. Since many employees can perform their jobs outside of the office or even remotely these days, many companies are taking advantage of the benefits of telecommuting. Any person who is not location dependent can essentially telecommute.
Most employees who telecommute are people who do the majority of their business through an online portal. This may include (but is not limited to) stockbrokers, bankers, data input specialists, accounting specialists, graphic designers, coders, web developers, and some salespeople. However, thanks to the latest technologies, the list will likely continue increasing.
Many employees who benefit from this lifestyle find that telecommuting actually allows them to perform their jobs at a higher level. They don’t have to deal with the possible distraction of being in an office environment, and they can simply pay attention to the task at hand.
People who succeed in telecommuting are often self-starters who do not need much supervision.
How to Implement Telecommuting:
The implementation of telecommuting will be different for every company, but the main points will be somewhat similar. Many companies decide to switch to a telecommuting structure to help save costs and cut down on commuting times. The basics of implementing a telecommuting work environment usually include the following.
- Start slow. You don’t want to jump into telecommuting before you’re ready.
- Start by cutting back employee hours slowly over the course of a few months.
- Ask employees to work from home for four hours a day, one day a week.
- Start to gradually increase these times until every employee is working from home one day a week.
- Begin implementing communication channels, such as teleconferencing, employee chat software, and online spreadsheets to track hours and work.
- Keep a constant line of communication with employees and ask for their feedback.
- Continue to cut down on office hours over the next few weeks.
- Invest in telecommuting receptionist software, so everyone on your team can begin working remotely.
- Establish business hours if your company requires employees to log on to a system at certain times.
- Begin shutting down segments of your brick-and-mortar office as your employees spend less and less time there.
Ways in Which Telecommuting Can Help Your Business
Telecommuting can help your business in a variety of ways, but it’s not for everyone. Discover the pros and cons of this burgeoning anti-office trend.
1. Telecommuting creates a positive work environment
Many employees find that they are more productive and happier when they are allowed to choose their own work environments. One of the main advantages of telecommuting is boosting employee morale.
There used to be a misconception that employees needed to be under a watchful eye if they were going to be productive. The reality is that most employees work better when they have more freedom.
2. Telecommuting saves time and money
Another one of the benefits of telecommuting is that it can save employers both time and money. When you’re not forcing employees to show up to a brick-and-mortar location, you don’t need to worry about spending money on an office space. You also don’t need to worry about reimbursing employees for metro cards or gas.
3. Telecommuting allows employees to network faster and easier
Another one of the biggest benefits of telecommuting is giving your employees the freedom to network more quickly. Many employees have problems networking when they’re stuck in an office all day. When they’re location independent, they have the freedom to work wherever they need to network.
4. Telecommuting is not for everyone
Not everyone likes to talk about the disadvantages of telecommuting, yet this working lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It is likely not the best solution for those working in an industry that requires a lot of face time. They will probably want to think twice before making the switch.
You might also want to reconsider switching to this type of work environment if your employees need constant supervision. You’ll need self-starters to make a telecommuting office system work to your benefit.
Summing Up: What are the Benefits of Telecommuting?
It’s easy to understand why many companies are switching over to a telecommuting environment instead of encouraging employees to head into the office every day. Many companies are taking advantage of these benefits, such as green energy tax cuts. Also, several cities reward companies that encourage their employees to commute to the office fewer days a week, or even no days a week.
A good number of companies have experienced employee morale go up as the result of working from wherever they want. At the same time, a significant number of employees have even discovered added benefits for companies by heading to co-working spaces where they were able to network with other colleagues in their field more easily.
What do you think about telecommuting? Has your company tried this growing trend? Are you ready to take the leap into creating a telecommuting environment? Share your successes (and your challenges) with us in a comment below.
Image Source: Pexels