Telecommuting is simply a fancy word for working at home, which according to reports is starting to become a new standard within the workplace around the globe.This I believe is a result of lower technology costs and the advent of cloud computing making the ability to work from home simple, easy and very cost effective for both employers and staff.
Connecting from home to the workplace can be done in multiple ways using the internet; Virtual Private Networks (VPN), a remote desktop connection to a terminal server, and cloud technology which uses remote applications.
With many businesses jumping on cloud technology, by outsourcing their server requirements, the ability to telecommunicate is already available with little or no setup required by the staff. Essentially, you are telecommuting (working remotely) from the servers at work, making the transition from working onsite, to at home very similar.
Another reason why employers are now being positive about telecommuting and allowing their staff to work from home is because the communication between employees is not effected at all. With emails, text messages and mobile phones being a standard within society, it’s not hard to communicate over distance, and we do it constantly without knowing it, you send an email to a co-worker requesting some non-urgent files or advice or even just to notify of what is going on. If it’s urgent, you pick up the phone and call someone to help, the one thing that you unfortunately won’t be able to do is yell across the room to Trent for some advice.
In studies of telecommuting, positive results have been found from senior management of the top Fortune 500 companies;
- Seeing that employees are more productive
- Retain current employees who require flexible hours, (kids, training or health issues)
- Can relieve stress and or guilt from being away from the family
- Reduces costs on office facilities
- Reduces employees changing jobs or opens a greater range of job candidates by looking interstate or even internationally
- Saves money & time for staff on travel
The risks and disadvantages seemed to result from poor management and judgment by both management and staff, depending on the type of personality and attitude they have. We all know that some staff work better under a supervised environment, or just like to keep work and home separate.
The concept of telecommuting is like most innovative solutions, some work fantastic, increasing productivity, profit, staff satisfaction and moral. Some just work keeping employees happy at work and then some can just flop, it’s a solution which needs to be implemented smartly and controlled well, but the results can lead to happier staff, keeping the people that have the knowledge of your business, in your business, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that knowledge is money.
Written By Steve Bakker