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Advantages and Disadvantages of Telecommuting to Work

BY: Swati | Category: Work From Home | Post Date: 2008-09-09

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More and more companies these days offer employees to do their job from home (or telecommute). Although it may sound like a great idea to start with, but this model depends a lot on mutual trust, unfortunately it can be easily abused by the employee. Since the boss has no direct oversight on the employee, he may use this time to do some errands, or taking care of a pet or baby and countless other distractions.

The success of telecommuting also depends a lot on the kind of job responsibilities of the employee, like a home based call center agent has to be on the phone to assist customers and that activity can be easily traced, on the other hand a software engineer responsible for programming might not work for full 8 hours and there is no direct way to monitor his work.

Many argue that it is all about meeting deadlines and the quality of work. But what if a task which already has stiff deadlines, if you miss that deadline while working from home there may be suspicions or fingers pointed at you about the quality and quantity of work you did from home. It eventually all depends on the mutual trust.

Advantages of telecommuting to Employee:
1. Increased job satisfaction.
2. Cost of commute to work is saved.
3. Reduced ad-hoc requests and less distraction from co-workers.
4. Reduces stress and better personal time management.
5. A better work and family balance.
6. Company may even pay for you internet connection and/or telephone bill in some cases.

Advantages of telecommuting to Company:
1. Increased employee job satisfaction results in better employee retention.
2. Some companies may actually save on infrastructure and housekeeping costs if a certain percentage of workers always work from home.
3. Additional incentive which is helpful in recruiting new candidates.
4. Decreased absenteeism - An employee who would have taken a full day off due to some personal work, may now work for (say) half day once he gets back home.
5. In many cases an employee may agree to work at a lower salary.
6. It may also result in higher productivity and opportunity to devote extra time much easily if needed (like weekends).

Disadvantages of telecommuting to Employee:
1. More distractions and at times the employee's spouse or kids may take him for granted for certain things. Like if you are expecting a courier, your wife may tell you to receive it while she is out, but what if the delivery guy shows up when you are in a meeting.
2. You are isolated from daily activities of the company and may be less aware of the other things going in the company.
3. There may be times when you me be out-of-mind just because you are not physically present in the office or possibly under-managed.
4. Possible hatred from other employees who do not telecommute.
5. You may be subjected to more working hours.
6. Your personal charges related work may increase (like phone bill, better internet connection bill, electricity etc..)

Disadvantages of telecommuting to Company:
1. As already mentioned (no supervision) - an employee may not devote full time for work and may use time to do personal errands or taking care of other domestic issues.
2. There may a delay in contacting employee or your customers may get a delayed customer service.
3. Employee may be isolated from others and often be out of touch with others.
4. Additional Infrastructure and intranet cost required to enable that employee to work from home.
5. Security concerns - the data being used by client over the internet can possibly be hacked.

Article Source: http://www.saching.com

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