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Telecommuting Losing its Luster

As this century was ushered in, telecommuting was very popular; having an office at home brought down the expense of a vehicle, offered the opportunity to work in your own personal environment and decreased distractions, ultimately increasing productivity. What better way to calculate the sales figures from last quarter than enveloped in the warmth of bunny slippers and with a coffee mug beside you?

Unfortunately, the reality is that very few companies benefit from telecommuting and therefore, telecommuter numbers have been going down for the past three years. Not all employees were made for the process as they can be easily misdirected by distractions at home. An employee must be very focused and disciplined to work the proper number of hours at home.

Not All Employees Are Cut Out For It

Many workers are using this lengthened leash to their advantage. According to human resources vice president at Career Builder, managers must establish expectations and objectives on a daily basis in order to avoid workers getting distracted and avoid the loss of productivity and maximize the rewards of working at home.

Telecommuting often comes at the cost of team work; it retracts from opportunities for employees to have relationships built between them and employees often feel left out of touch or as if they are not a team member at all. Any company looking to embrace telecommuting must compensate for this with frequent meetings scheduled to provide that face-to-face interaction. Skype can be useful but is no replacement for a job done well acknowledged by a firm handshake.

Team Work Tends To Suffer

This is a legitimate concern which could possibly be the employee’s biggest point of resistance. An employee that is out of sight may be put out of mind; as a result of their telecommuting, they may not be considered for important promotions and projects, which would prevent them from being able to grow within that company.

Impact on Career Invisible

This is only avoidable if an employer is serious about recognizing this. Those deciding who to award promotions must keep in mind that only self motivated and independent people are capable of telecommuting and those may be the ones worthy of promotions. Telecommuters need to be included in the process of managers recognizing development of employees.

A number of companies cannot afford to provide telecommuters with the necessary materials to do the job from home. Some of the imaging and reproduction tasks can be completed using smartphone technology but often, only the tools available in the office are enough to get the job done. In this case, companies utilizing telecommuting must set up people in the office to assist telecommuters in such an area.

Both employee and employer can enjoy the advantages of telecommuting, but an informed decision can only be made by knowing the disadvantages as well.

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