Telecommuting & the Remote Working Revolution
With so many businesses and job seekers seeking exciting ways to succeed in an ever-changing business world, telecommuting and remote work are now essential components for both employer and employee, to maximize efficiency, minimize costs and reap the many advantages of an increasingly digital landscape. In the current climate of distributed teams, blended development cycles and high levels of mobility, telecommuting has become a powerful tool to give both employers and employees the ability to maximize their profitability and autonomy.
Telecommuting and remote work are generally defined as work arrangements that allow employees to work largely or exclusively outside the office, usually through the internet. This means that employees can work from any location, at any time and often with greater flexibility than working at the office. But, there are many pros and cons that one should consider before jumping into a remote work arrangement.
The Pros of Telecommuting
There are many potential benefits associated with telecommuting and remote working arrangements, including:
Increased Productivity and Flexibility: Remote workers often report higher levels of productivity when compared to traditional office workers and it has been proven that employees relying on telecommuting often demonstrate a more profound sense of focus and autonomy than in-office employees. In addition to increased productivity, telecommuting provides employees with the flexibility to work when, where and how they choose, allowing them to adjust their work schedule to better fit their personal needs and lifestyle.
Cost Savings: Telecommuting arrangements often lead to significant cost savings for both the employer and employee. Employers can save money on overhead expenses and wages by allowing employees to work remotely. Employees save money by working remotely. Because of the lack of commuting costs, employees can often save money on transportation costs, lunch expenses, as well as other miscellaneous costs associated with working in the office.
Improved Engagement of Employees: By removing the stresses or perceived constraints of traditional office work, remote employees are often more engaged and are more motivated to put in additional effort and go the extra mile when it comes to their job. Additionally, with more freedom comes a more collaborative working environment, which is beneficial for employers and employees alike.
Greater Work/Life Balance: By allowing employees to work remotely, employers give their employees more control over their work/life balance and work schedule. This flexibility provides them with the opportunity to make better decisions about how to manage their own time, as well as how to find a better balance between their personal and professional lives.
The Cons of Telecommuting
In contrast to the many potential benefits associated with telecommuting, there are also several potential drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. These include:
Subpar Collaboration and Communication: Since much of the collaboration and communication is done remotely through technology, things like small talk and personal relationships are often lost or diminished. Remote employees often struggle to build strong relationships with their colleagues and co-workers, which can lead to problems down the line.
Unclear Performance Expectations: In comparison to traditional office work, it can be more difficult to set and gauge performance expectations for remote employees when there is no formal structure in the work environment. It can be difficult to establish a set of standards that all remote employees should adhere to, and there may be a risk of performance deterioration over time.
Lack of Workplace Oversight: Since employees are working remotely, managers and employers may not be able to ensure that their remote employees are actually working and completing their tasks in a timely manner. That lack of oversight can lead to problems down the line, such as missed deadlines, unmet expectations and general discontent in the workplace.
Technological Failures: The lack of a direct connection with the workplace means that remote workers may face technology-related issues such as slow internet connections and power outages, which can hamper their work performance or have a negative impact on their productivity.
In the ever-changing and highly competitive business landscape, telecommuting and remote working arrangements have become an increasingly important part of the workplace. There are many potential advantages to both employer and employee, such as increased productivity and flexibility, cost savings, improved engagement of employees and greater work/life balance. However, there are also several potential drawbacks that should be taken into consideration such as subpar collaboration, unclear performance expectations, lack of workplace oversight, and technological failures. Ultimately, both telecommuting and remote working are here to stay, and it is up to each individual employer and employee to determine if the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to their situation.