The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting
Advances in technology such as wireless devices, web applications and internet-based software has created the mobile office, making it easier for employees to virtually work from anywhere. Research shows that approximately 30 million Americans have the ability to work from home at least one day a week and more and more companies are offering telecommuting and flex-time more than any other workplace benefit.
Even though telecommuting is a convenient cost-effective alternative to the traditional nine to five workweek, you should be aware of the challenges telecommuting poses for employers and co-workers. What might be good for some may not be good for others. If you are the social type and enjoy being around people and working as part of a team, full-time telecommuting might not be your best option. However, if you are an introvert who is independent and disciplined then you might be a great fit.
Also, not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting and require the individual to work at the employer’s location. Here are some of the pro’s and cons to help you decide if telecommuting is right for you:
- Employees can be more productive and less likely to take time off work.
- It promotes work/life balance and retains employees who may otherwise leave because of personal reasons
- It’s cost efficient for the employee and the employer eliminating expenses across the board. Saving time and money on commuting costs, office supplies, office space and equipment.
- There are fewer workplace distractions and employees can work at their own pace.
- Employees who work from home often miss out on social activities with colleagues. The lack of employee engagement can make the telecommuter feel isolated and out of the loop.
- Employers lose control of how workers use their time.
- Heightened concern with security, employee monitoring and maintaining confidentiality.
- Less face time with managers and peers can cause problems with communication, creativity and brainstorming. If your boss doesn’t see you regularly, you might wind up getting passed over for major projects or assignments.
To avoid negative impacts from telecommuting, companies must set clear guidelines and policies on productivity, security, and workers’ compensation. If you need assistance updating your policies and procedures, contact the professionals HR Synergy, LLC.