Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tip #335 Telecommuting Pros And Cons

Telecommuting can be a very appealing option to your employees. Who wouldn't like the ease and convenience of working from home? However, what many articles often overlook about telecommuting is what it means for you and your business.

Like most things, telecommuting has its pros and its cons. The success of a telecommuting option depends on what type of business you run and how well you execute the program. In order to help you gauge the viability of telecommuting for your business, we have listed below three pros and three cons of telecommuting.

3 Pros Of Telecommuting:

Pro #1. Appealing Recruitment Tool: One powerful benefit to offering telecommuting is its use as a recruitment tool. The option to work from home is an appealing benefit to new employees. It is also an effective employee retention tool for the same reasons. Employees, especially those with families, will be glad to have the stress of juggling home and work life off their shoulders.

Pro #2. Increased Productivity: Working from home can potentially increase employee productivity. For starters, employees do not need to slog through a long commute. This means the time they would normally spend traveling they can now spend getting an earlier jump on the workday, or a bit more rest for a more energized workday. Another benefit is that you can arrange so that employees working from home be reachable during non-traditional working hours.

Pro #3. Save On Overhead Costs: Fewer employees in the office means fewer pieces of office furniture needed -- a cubicle, a desk, lights, even little things such as pens and paper and other supplies. If your company covers an employee's travel expenses, telecommuting will cut down on those costs as well. And if your business can be ran more virtually, you might even be able to switch to a smaller office space to save even more money.

3 Cons Of Telecommuting:

Con #1. Lost Opportunities For Team Building:

This is the most obvious downside to telecommuting. When an employee works outside of the office, they miss the opportunity to build a rapport with other team members and establish stronger ties with their follow employees. Because team unity is important to any business, you may want to schedule face-time regularly into your telecommuting program to ensure team relationships are established and maintained.

Con #2. Employer-Employee Disconnect: For the same reasons that telecommuting lends itself to productivity, it also lends itself to employer-employee disconnect. Some employees who telecommute have expressed a sense of feeling "out of sight, out of mind" in the eyes of their employers, and concern over how this might negatively affects their potential for promotion. The possibility of such a disconnect makes it crucial that employers interested in telecommuting stay in touch with their employees.

Con #3. Absence Of Motivation: Some employees are not as self-motivated as others are, and without direct management, may slack on their workload. This is why employers need to be careful when choosing which employees they permit to telecommute. Working from home requires a significant amount of self-discipline and self-motivation, not to mention the ability to work autonomously.

Executive Summary: For every benefit telecommuting potentially provides a business, there is a corresponding downside. The only way to make telecommuting work for you is to tailor it to your business' needs. You also need to make sure the employees you permit to telecommute are capable of handling the responsibility it comes with. Telecommuting is not for everybody, but for some, the flexibility and freedom it affords can be the kind of motivating work privilege that allows them to excel.

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