Isaac Asimov once said, “The only constant is change.” This is not only true in life, but in business as well. One trend that has changed recently is the popularity of telecommuting. Even though many individuals have differing opinions concerning this, it has not been around long enough, on a big enough scale, to see its true impact on business. Some of the common question business owners ask themselves when deciding if allowing employees to telecommute are, “Will it make the employees more productive, happier, lonelier, disconnected, or more connected? Will telecommuting negatively or positively affect the company culture?” It’s a tough decision, and like most tough decisions, there isn’t one answer that works for everyone.
This study shows there could be wonderful benefits to telecommuting. Below we’ve laid out some pros and cons:
- Telecommuters work longer hours, as they aren’t wasting time travelling.
- Telecommuting employees are generally less stressed.
- 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 productiveness time, even if it’s midnight, can be a relief to the traditional structured nine-to-five
- Telecommuters are often more productive.
- 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 across the globe.
- Telecommuting can save the employee and employer money.
Cons – the other side of the coin
- Telecommuting can lead to burnout and resentment of the company if they work too much.
- Telecommuters often complain of being isolated and feeling lonely or depressed from lack of socialization.
- Poor time management skills may lead to a lack of productivity
- Telecommuting can lead to a break down in communication due to distance.
- Telecommuting can require a little more time than normal to set up a home 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, and lastly managers must 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?