Technology has made it easier than ever to work from the comfort of your own home! Instead of going to the office every day, you can connect with your work team from almost anywhere as long as you have access to a phone and computer. The ability to do work from home is causing an increase in the number of full-time employees who telecommute. According to The Balance Careers, in 2017, it was found that about 3.9 million people who have jobs in the U.S. work from home half of the time.

What is Telecommuting?

Telecommuting is a work arrangement with an employer that allows an employee to work remotely outside of the business’s office. Some employers offer the ability to work remotely full time. Others provide a part-time arrangement where time is split between home and the office. When telecommuting, employees will perform the same tasks as in office but will communicate with coworkers/teams via Skype, email, phone, or other methods to complete work tasks.

What Are The Pros Of Telecommuting?

Telecommuting for employees can be beneficial in a few different ways…

  • Most companies have employees who work 9-5 or hours around peak traffic times. If you telecommute, you won’t sit in traffic during rush hour on the way to and from work. Working from home will save you time and eliminate the stress of traffic. With the time you are saving, you can wake up as you usually would, hit the gym before clocking in and get an even earlier start to your day at home. Then, you can work a little later through your evening commute and make your day even more productive.
  • Another benefit is that you are saving on transportation costs. Working from the comfort of your own home means that you won’t have to buy that bus ticket or a monthly parking pass in the city.
  • Some people like telecommuting because they are easily distracted by others. Working from home eliminates that problem and allows them to be more productive.
  • For employers, the benefit of having employees telecommute is that they save money on office space, supplies, and overhead costs.

What Are The Cons Of Telecommuting?

Telecommuting is not for everyone…

  • Some people easily get distracted by their phone, chores at home, and family members. Getting distracted can lead to working long days if you focus on non-related work tasks when you’re supposed to be on the clock. Not going into work every day also means that you aren’t going to get to see your coworkers and sometimes leads to loss of interaction.
  • It is more difficult for managers to monitor productivity and have less oversight over employees. Therefore, there may be a possible loss of communication or direction because the employee is not in the office.
  • At times, the team in the office may be asked for impromptu input by other team members, departments, managers, etc. If an employee is telecommuting their input becomes invaluable.
  • In environments that are fast-paced and heavily team-oriented, you run the risk of not properly sharing the daily workload with team members that are in the office. If a project or task needs to be completed immediately, employees tend to ask team members that are in the office rather than someone that is telecommuting since in this case, face-to-face interaction is easier. Ultimately, this can end up upsetting employees since the burden of the work increases on those available in the office.
  • Self-management skills, self-growth, self-motivation, and team involvement are a must for telecommuting.
    • If you are consistently telecommuting and not in the office, you could miss out on a promotion.
    • Your position could be outsourced to another resource that provides a better ROI for the employer.
    • If you lack team involvement and do not have the motivation to grow with your team and the company, then your growth becomes stagnant.
  • Another disadvantage is that employees will need remote access to files which can sometimes pose a security concern if passwords are not frequently changed.

Conclusion

Not all companies offer their employees to work from home as an option. If your company offers for you to telecommute, it’s worth a shot to look into whether it will be a good fit for your personality or not and discuss with your employer to see if you can give it a try.

About the Author

Samantha Payne

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