Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is Telecommuting a Benefit to Employers?

Ever since the introduction of employees working from home or “telecommuting”, due to rising costs of fuel and the need for more flexible schedules, more employees elect to work as telecommuters and there have been some concerns as to whether or not it is in the best interest of the organization for both productivity and manageability. Managing telecommuters, so called “remote employees” requires a different style of management. No longer a micromanager, but a manager who has more technical capabilities and a manager who builds a level of trust with the employee who are working from home.

Basic Trust of Telecommuters

Trusting whether or not an employee will get the work done if they are not working in the office is a big concern. Also, some people complain that the telecommuters are not included in the office politics and they miss face-to-face contact. Other managers clearly state that the employees who work on site communicate with them by email on a daily basis and they find that they speak to the telecommuters on a more regular basis by phone and therefore, it is not face to face contact that suffers. Many articles and journals, including one published in the Journal of Applied Psychology illustrates that telecommuters are less stressed and are more appreciative of the benefits they receive from working at home. They are more likely to be additionally productive because their surroundings are conducive with their personalities. There is also less stress on work at home employees because they do not have constantly struggle with the many perils of time constraints. It is easier for a person who telecommutes to work on projects and tasks that needs to be done at any time that they are able to schedule it, which is not necessarily from 8am-5pm.

Out with the Old in with the New Concepts

Our world is changing. We no longer have to be baby sat on a day-to-day basis at work. With technology and the way it has grown, myself and many others question, why not use it? Suggestions of companies setting up remote offices, investing in “meeting technologies (remote offices),” and also the good old notion that employees should be measured on performance and not face time. Time and time again I have worked in some companies, and I know I am not alone when I talk about this, in which I have observed employees who spend nearly 2 hours a day working on work. The employees who fly under the radar at work and are quiet and do not cause trouble. Why wouldn’t a manager like them? Yes, but what about the work getting done? What about production? They complete menial tasks, but they take up space and electric kilowatts and employee benefits so I think it is unfair to say that “every” employee who works in the office necessarily produces more work then an employee who telecommutes. The Telecommuting Imperative

Telecommuting is a great option

Telecommuters, who work remotely from an office in their home, should be equally respected as an employee who is working on site. They are just as valuable and in some cases work harder in order to prove that they can manage working from home due to the benefits and flexibility it adds to their life. With the many talented people who have skills and abilities that organizations would love to hire, but cannot due to scheduling conflicts, disabilities or responsibilities that take keep the person in the home, it would be a great injustice not to invest in a better system that utilizes the workforce that works from home. MetroNews

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