Are you wondering if telecommuting or remote working is an ideal work setup for you? Well, studies show that by 2025, telecommuting will be highly competing with office locations already. Whether you’re considering to work or hire in this method, gear up now and let us help you digest some of the most essential telecommuting pros and cons that you should consider before jumping in the trend.
It’s no wonder that working remotely has never been more efficient for both employers and workers, given the amazing advancements in technology. While working in an office environment has traditionally been serving the workforce well for many good reasons, the edge of telecommuting relies on the flexibility it provides to everyone.
All you will need as a business expert is a reliable WiFi connection, good communication app, time tracking software, and a competitive set of skills, and then you’re good to go. However, there are still risks to consider. If you want to know more if you’re fit for telecommuting, check this out!
Pros of Telecommuting
Higher productivity of employees
According to the IWG Glocal Workspace Survey, 85% of businesses commend that telecommuting has contributed to their workers’ overall engagement and productivity due to improved flexibility.
Moreover, 63% of the same respondents confirm that there has been a 21% improvement in terms of their performance-based outputs. There are a lot of factors why employees are benefiting from this setup.
First, they are presented with fewer distractions while they work remotely compared to a restricted office environment. They are also less stressed as they can easily decide where to work. For example, it can be at the comforts of their home without the need to adjust frequently. Lastly, they are more focused on their personalized work environment, where they believe they are the most productive.
Overall, the freedom that telecommuting provides makes it possible for employers to see better growth in their businesses as they maximize their employees’ welfare.
Employers can retain and attract employees with higher performance and skills
Telecommuting has given crucial employees the perks of flexibility since a lot of them transfer from one job to another due to personal reasons. Therefore, employers are eased, especially with their trusted workforce, who are vital in their businesses.
In terms of attracting and hiring skilled employees, research shows that 78 percent of businesses think that opting for telecommuting has allowed them to expand their group with outstanding talents from a wider geographic reach. Another research confirms this since more than a third of employees answered that they would prioritize their work’s flexibility rather than getting a high-ranking role.
The main reason why employees prefer flexibility is due to the increasing focus in achieving a work-life balance. For instance, people who struggle with stress, mental issues, family problems, and other personal situations are more inclined to prefer telecommuting.
Saves time, money, and resources for both parties
Employees are given a chance to avoid long commutes and stressful traffic. Therefore, telecommuting surely saves time and boosts their wellbeing. Workers who undergo less stress have also proven links to a reduction in absenteeism. This results in better income for any business through more energized and happy employees.
If there’s one telecommuting pros and cons that should be highly considered, it’s obvious how the costs will affect a business. The Stanford University researchers observed a Chinese travel agency and discovered that ever since this company started telecommuting, they have already saved an annual average of around $2000 per employee. Amazing, right?
It’s a domino effect on how expenses are minimized from office expenses, maintenance, supplies, equipment, and many others. Transportation costs are also significantly reduced. The company can reallocate its costs to business development matters instead of daily electricity charges.
More focused, healthy, and motivated employees
Since an office environment has specific rules, approaches, and culture, an employee can’t help but need to adapt and abide. With telecommuting, workers are more inclined to work wherever and whenever they are most suited to do so.
Everyone has different particular ways of how they work, and giving them more control proves to make them more contented with their work in the long run. They are also given more time to focus on their personal pursuits, such as hobbies, which make them feel satisfied with what they do and avoid the struggle of being burnout.
Even if there are still guidelines from the management, their creativity and schedule flexibility are really strengthened. Moreover, telecommuting allows employees to feel that they are trusted by their companies and empowers them to do their best in their given tasks.
Cons of Telecommuting
Employees may develop issues with work and personal boundaries
Since telecommuting requires employees to be mostly at home and more involved with their personal life, boundaries may be an issue at times. For instance, parents with kids are challenging for professionals. Their time may always be compromised at home and cause lesser focus.
Freelancers with different work setups may also have a hard time prioritizing their work limits. It’s important for employees to set their boundaries when it comes to working time and personal time through a strict schedule. The employers, on the other hand, must reinforce effective working regulations to make sure that tasks are being properly met.
Employees have less collaboration and social activities
According to experts, socializing is one of the essential work components that’s being affected by telecommuting. Employees are not given a chance to build relationships, good trust, and support in their work environment. Working side by side with their colleagues, depending on their field, may either be considered as their telecommuting pros and cons.
For some workers, they are inclined to work better with collaborative inputs and group support. It’s a place where they can meet new friends, share ideas, and work together in achieving goals. Social activities may also be missed where belongingness and teamwork serve as an important factor for a business to grow.
Creativity may be reduced
Creativity and work changes have always been aligned together since collaboration usually sparks new ideas. Research shows that certain ideas are triggered by unexpected conversations.
Employees may have lessened creativity due to repetitive routines and lack of communication with other people. The presence of colleagues and an office environment with lots of movements may prevent employees from gaining input and creativity throughout their working days.
Limited career advancements
Telecommuting may also prevent employees from staying involved with their work management. Working remotely provides a tendency for an employee not to be visible often and remembered in the company, which makes it harder for them to receive advancements.
These career advancements may be in the form of salary raises and promotions. So if you plan to shift into telecommuting, make sure that you’re constantly in touch with your boss and your colleagues. Whether it’s just in the form of a conference call or video call meetings, communication is essential to be recognized with your impressive outputs.
Cybersecurity and privacy hazards
Since telecommuting requires frequent travel or remote working for the employees, they are at a higher risk with the company’s sensitive data and information. Employees should take note that public networks from airports, hotels, or any public area should not be trusted when working.
Their online activity may be easily compromised and monitored by hackers. Financial information, private passwords, and other essential data should be protected at all times. Remote workers should be provided with VPN or Virtual Private Network systems to gain anonymity online and avoid this issue of unsecured networks.
Employers must remember that prevention costs are lesser compared to privacy breaches costs. It’s highly suggested for them to issue company equipment with administrator controls. It’s also ideal to invest in insurance to protect the company’s assets.
Tips For Telecommuting Success
Determine your “office” hours
It’s very easy to underestimate time when you’re telecommuting. It’s essential to create your certain work hours and time for breaks to determine your most productive peaks. Even if telecommuting provides you a lot of flexibility, sticking to a schedule will help you avoid overworking or putting off your tasks.
Establish a work setup
You can start by first allocating a certain space in your home and treat it as a real office location. Your workspace will determine your overall mood and mindset. It’s also important that your area is enclosed so you won’t be easily interrupted or distracted by noise.
Experts say that you should also avoid working in your bedroom or kitchen since your mind has already associated these places with a sense of rest and relaxation. You will also be easily distracted if your workplace is messy and disorganized.
Prepare for work
Even if telecommuting may require you to be less dressy and always made up, getting ready like you’re going to the office really makes a difference. Experts suggest that instead of wearing house clothes, make it a habit to shower and get dressed like you would in the workplace.
It doesn’t matter what type of clothing you get into as long as it makes you feel comfortable and motivated to feel productive; it will convince your mind to start working. If you’re in a video conference with your officemates, making an effort to dress up will show them that you are serious about your work as well.
Divide your day with work and personal activities
According to research, dividing up your day and allocating a certain time for and personal activities will help telecommuters to feel more productive and fulfilled with their work and life balance. For instance, you can wake up early to hit the gym first and have a hearty breakfast before jumping in with work.
After 3-4 hours, grab your lunch, and accomplish simple chores. Then, proceed with your remaining tasks until 6:00 pm. After that, you can attend to your hobbies and spend some time for yourself. Your schedule will surely depend on your workload and setup, but finding your life balance will make you more productive and contented with telecommuting.
As a telecommuter, communication is the key to stay updated with your work. Make sure that you check in with your tasks through email, chat, or video calls. Since you are remote from your other colleagues, staying connected will help you form relationships with them better.
You can also install helpful management apps and maximize technology to be updated with the company’s advancements. Face-to-face meetings are also highly effective to be on the loop every now and then.
Have breaks from your phone
In contrast with being connected, you should also take note that your cellphone is easily the best distraction tool from your work. It’s ideal for turning it off or put it on silent when you’re working so you can completely focus on what you’re doing.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram should be avoided unless it’s essential with your tasks. There are also mobile applications that block websites or apps for a certain period of time to help you avoid opening them.
Go out of your house often
Break your usual routine often to boost your productivity and creativity. You can opt to work at a coffee shop or work with friends sometimes. Being social will allow you to interact and exchange ideas.
You can also look for fellow telecommuters who will understand your mode of work. Common interests are very helpful in filling up your social battery and feel revitalized from your usual work routines.
Skip work when you’re feeling unproductive
Forcing yourself to work when you’re not feeling well or in the mood will only waste your time and energy. If you’re not focused on your tasks, take a break from it and return when you feel more productive.
Going for a walk or simply taking a nap will get you better work results without feeling guilty. Traditional work setups usually force people to work at a certain time, but with telecommuting, you’re freer to determine your own phase.
Every hard work deserves a reward
You earned it! Reward yourself whenever you can. After work, you can easily allocate your transportation budget into your own type of luxury to reap the rewards from your efforts. Because of these rewards, you will feel more motivated to keep on being successful in the field of telecommuting.
There you have it! Those are the most important telecommuting pros and cons that you should consider well. We hope that this article helped you decide which factors weigh better for you and how telecommuting will serve you.
Remember that your type of business and skills will highly determine if you’re fit for this setup. Personal issues should also be considered first before opting for this type of work.
If you’re an employer looking to transition in this work method, remember to trust telecommuters amidst the distance and learn to maximize the power of technology. As for future telecommuters, do earn the trust that companies will give you and hopefully get the best of both worlds with this very efficient working system.
What are the best things that you’re looking forward to when you start telecommuting? We would love to hear about your thoughts in the comment section below!