Is Telecommuting the Future of Business or Will it Fade Out?

Business trends change from year to year and sometimes even month to month. One of the most discussed about trends is telecommuting. There are a number of viewpoints concerning Telecommuting; unfortunately, as it is a relatively recent trend there is not much info around it. Does it make employees more productive 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 some of the many questions businesses must contemplate when deciding if allowing employees to telecommute fits their company’s structure and style.

This study shows there can be great benefits to telecommuting.  Below we’ve laid out some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Telecommuters work longer hours, as they aren’t wasting time commuting.
  • Telecommuters have more control over their lives, which leads to less stress, more happiness, and more productivity.
  • Telecommuters are happier, as they have more freedom to manage work time with their family lives. Having the freedom to pick up the kids, or work during their prime productivity time, even if it’s midnight, can be a relief to the traditional structured nine-to-five
  • Those who do not work effectively in a structured nine-to-five culture, find relief in telecommuting.
  • Telecommuting improves self-reliance and time management skills.
  • Telecommuting enables employers to hire highly skilled people.
  • Both the telecommuter and the employer save time and money.

Consthe other side of the coin

  • Telecommuters may suffer burnout if they work excessively.
  • A lack of socialization for individuals who crave social interaction may result in depression and loneliness.
  • Telecommuting can result in a lack of motivation, as there is not a physical tie to the rest of the team.
  • Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
  • Setting up a home office effectively can take more time than setting up in-office.

At the end of the day, successful telecommuting takes strong time management skills from the employee, strong communication lines between the manager and the employees, last but not least managers need to have a strong understanding of the responsibilities of their employees and the time it takes them to complete the tasks. As we move deeper into this technological age, we see that people enjoy independent working more and more. So will telecommuting be the future of business or is it just a trend? What do you think?


Posted on: 12.02.11