Business trends differ from year to year or even monthly. One of the most discussed about trends is telecommuting. There are plenty of viewpoints concerning Telecommuting; unfortunately, as it is a fairly recent trend there is not much data around it. Does it make employees more efficient or not? Does it make them happier, lonelier, disconnected, or more connected? What about the cost for the company? Does it cost more or less? These are a few of the many questions businesses must consider when deciding if allowing employees to telecommute fits their company’s structure and style.
Some studies show there are huge benefits to telecommuting. We’ve laid out several pros and cons below:
- As people aren’t wasting time and money commuting they often work longer hours.
- Telecommuters are less stressed when working in the comfort 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.
- Those who don’t work well in a structured nine-to-five culture, find relief in telecommuting.
- Telecommuting encourages self-reliance and problem solving, and develops time management skills.
- Telecommuting also gives employers more freedom to hire skilled individuals minus the cost of moving them around the world.
- Both the telecommuter and the employer save time and money.
- Telecommuters may suffer burnout if they work excessively.
- A lack of socialization for those who crave social interaction can cause depression and loneliness.
- Telecommuters can suffer a lack of motivation and if a manager isn’t fully involved in the employee’s daily workload, the employee might take advantage and slack off.
- Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
- Telecommuting can require a more time than usual to put together a home office.
For both manager and employee, successful telecommuting takes strong communication, time management skills, and clarity of job responsibilities. We are seeing more and more people desiring an independent working environment. But in the end, whether telecommuting will work or not, depend on the company’s culture and the employees’ mindset. Tell us what you think; will telecommuting be the way most businesses are organized in the future or will it fade out?