List of Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

Due to technological advances, employers are now able to offer their employees a far more flexible schedule. This development has led to the advent of increased telecommuting. Whether telecommunications are done in order to allow the employee to work from home on a full time or part time basis, the trend is on the rise.

According to recent studies, over one third of all employees in America are now being allowed to work at least some of, if not all, of their hours from home. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages, from both the perspective of the employee and the employer. Read on to learn more about these benefits and drawbacks.

List of Pros of Telecommuting

1. Satisfied Employees and Employers
From the employer’s perspective, workers who are allowed to telecommute to work are much happier. Their commute times are shorter and the wear and tear is reduced. As a result, telecommuting employees typically utilize sick days far less frequently and enjoy a much greater level of personal autonomy, which leads to more employee satisfaction.

Employees that are satisfied are much less likely to quit. This is a catalyst for higher rates of retention and gives employers the opportunity to divest some of the training budget into other, more crucial areas of the company. Telecommuting also serves as a means of employee recruitment, as word spreads throughout the vast community of those who are currently seeking gainful employment.

2. Better Balance Between Work and Life
One of the most common complaints in modern society is the lack of work/life balance available to employees. Many workplaces expect their employees to burn the candle at both ends, especially those who are salaried. With telecommuting, employees are able to cut down on the amount of time spent transporting to and from work and spend the time saved with those who are truly important to them.

If employees are able to properly their life and their work, this lead to less vacation time taken and a higher level of staff morale. Employees who are not made to feel as if they need to sacrifice every aspect of their personal life because of job related concerns are able to live a happier, more balanced existence. This sort of arrangement is good for both sides of the coin in this regard.

3. Attraction Of Talent
Telecommunication gives employers the chance to cast a much wider net during their search efforts. They no longer have to be limited to the talent that is available in their particular region, they can bring in any employee, from any location, that can provide them with the best opportunity to take their operation to the next level. Being able to obtain top shelf talent without paying excessive relocation costs is a huge plus.

On the other hand, employees are also able to extend their job searches to areas that they had not been able to consider previously. If a prospective employee has already established strong roots in a part of the country that is far away from the employer’s base of operations, they are not necessarily disqualified from consideration.

List of Cons of Telecommuting

1. Less Employee Collaboration
One of the main benefits to bringing together a large group of people from disparate backgrounds is the ability to generate new and interesting ideas. If employees are allowed to telecommute, there is much less collaboration between employees. When this happens, a business or company may end up stagnating, since there is a scarcity of fresh new ideas being generated.

Many employers are nervous about the concept, believing that innovation takes place when new ideas are able to bounce off of one another. There are also employees who believe that they work best when surrounded by innovation and brainstorming. If they are closed off from their peers for the majority of their days, then their ability to come up with thoughtful plans and ideas for the future could be comprised.

2. Jealousy Among Employees
If a workplace allows some staff members to partake in telecommunication practice and not all, this can lead to severe jealousy among those who are still forced to report to a traditional work station day in and day out. When employees are dissatisfied with their current place in the pecking order, this can lead to poor morale.

In addition to sour grapes and hurt feelings, the quality of work from those who are asked to remain in the building can suffer. While some people can put their personal feelings aside and continue to do top notch work, there are others who simply cannot forget perceived injustices. Before allowing a portion of a staff to telecommute, this is something an employer must consider.

3. Increased Isolation
Employers may not feel the same sense of kinship with an employee that telecommutes to and from work each day and as a result, this increased isolation could lead to them getting passed over for certain assignments and even promotions. For some employees, they may feel as if they are truly out of sight and out of mind when it comes to important goings on at work.

On a more personal level, there are also employees who will struggle with the concept of spending most of their days alone. While an introverted employee may take to telecommuting like a fish takes to the ocean, the more extroverted type may look upon the arrangement as a form of punishment. For some, having that much time to spend alone can seem impossible to manage.