A Short Introduction to Telecommuting: Advantages and Disadvantages


I did a lot of research into tellecommuting and online work before I could rely on it to earn a full-time income.  Here's a short introduction for those who are thinking about it, but don't quite know enough about it to get started yet.

Although it's not a new concept, telecommuting still remains largely untapped and unexplored. The evidence lies in a simple Google search for the terms and resources available. I believe that telecommuting is an inevitable consequence and result of our changing society and globalisation. Outsourcing has become the name of the game for major companies and SoHo (Small office Home office) entrepreneurs are starting their own ventures by the day.


What is telecommuting?

Telecommuting or telework refers to the use of technology and modern telecommunications products (i.e. telephones, VOIP, and internet) to enable one to work from home, or any other place rather than the traditional workplace or office.


Advantages

Employees:

  • You can work more flexible hours
  • Work and childcare can be combined at home
  • Costs and time saved from not commuting
  • Employee satisfaction, freedom and fewer interruptions lead to higher productivity
  • Stay with a company, even when they relocate
  • Control your work/life balance leading to greater happiness and fulfillment


Businesses:

  • Decrease in employee absenteeism
  • Save on providing office and parking space to employees
  • A greater possibility of expansion and easy outsoucing, which decreases running costs and increases growth and profits


Society and the environment:

  • Decreased pressure for traffic system infrastructure
  • Closer family and work environment
  • Lower gas emissions and pollution from traffic


Disadvantages

  • Employees and businesses are heavily reliant on the functioning of telecommunications devices and services
  • Decreased access to “real” face-to-face communication and personal interaction, which may leave employees feeling lost, lonely or alienated
  • A high level of trust is required between the business and its employees
  • Employees may become easily distracted and find it difficult to draw a clear line between work and other responsibilities
  • Decreased localisation of products and services in favour of globalisation and outsourcing (this has a series of its own long term pros and cons)


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12 Characteristics of the Modern Entrepreneur
Life as a Freelance Writer

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Maja Dezulovic


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