Telecommuting essentially means that an employee is connected to the office via electronic equipment – Internet, computer, fax machine, video conferencing, etc. The employee can work either from home or an outside office some or all of the time.
There are several considerations to take into account when contemplating offering this option. Is the position appropriate for telecommuting? Obviously, a position that requires a great deal of face-to-face contact or shift work would not be an option. Many types of information-based jobs are perfect for telecommuting.
A supervisor also needs to realize what will be required of him or her. This could include phone supervision, increased performance reviews and on-site visits. Another consideration is cost. Who will be responsible for purchasing and maintaining equipment?
Employees who telecommute have reported that they are more productive while working at home than when they work at the office. They can also balance their work with other demands in their lives.
Benefits of Telecommuting
- Improved Employee Efficiency
- Schedule Flexibility
- Increased Time Available for Work
- Overhead Reductions
- Improved Employee Retention and Attraction
Employees must understand that their home office has to be a place that is conducive to fostering a positive working environment. They have to establish boundaries for themselves and be extremely disciplined.