Telecommuting has become popular in recent years, not only because it is convenient to employees, but also to employers. However, the fact that telecommuting is still a privilege and not a right among majority of employees, it means that workers who prefer to work from home on certain days of the week must build the case for it. That is because telecommuting should benefit not only the employee, but more so, the employer. Business must be guaranteed to continue even when the worker is not at the office.
Here are some considerations if you are thinking of giving telecommuting privilege to your staff.
Telecommuting assures business continuity. In case of an unforeseen calamity event, which prevents workers from getting to the office in time and safely, telecommuting is the best option. Instead of reporting late or skipping work altogether, employees who have telecommuting privileges can still turn in their deliverables. In this connected age, turning in work gains more weight than turning up at work.
Telecommuting reduces company overhead. Because your staff works outside the office, chances are they are paying for the energy cost of running their own computers, printing documents in their own home office printers, or attending calls using their own phone. Prepare for the possibility of subsidizing their energy bills, though.
Telecommuting promotes productivity by reducing stress. Stressed out employees are like cars running on empty tanks. Arriving at work from a stressful and tiring commute requires workers to pass several minutes before they can get back to the productivity flow. On the other hand, working in a relaxed environment helps them focus on the job.
Telecommuting means no excuses for missing deadlines. Corollary to #1, telecommuting means that workers are available whenever and wherever. Therefore, there is no excuse anymore for them to miss deadlines and not be able to submit work. Unless a massive blackout or network disconnection hits them, the two to three hours spent on commuting each day can be spent on coding their projects, sending emails, calling clients, or writing reports.
Telecommuting does not necessarily reduce data security. In most tech-related work, telecommuting means remote desktop access. Therefore, the chances of leaking sensitive data are very little. If you are concerned about data security, work with your network administrators in setting up remote desktop access to make sure that company information will not be leaked not only outside the workplace but also outside the network environment.
Telecommuting does not require expensive equipment. Truth be told, telecommuting only requires a computer, internet access, and a phone or fax. These equipment are very inexpensive and are most likely already available at home, so there is less chance that you still have to provide additional hardware to help them set up home offices.
Telecommuting keeps the family together. In households where both parents are working, telecommuting enables parents to spend more time with their kids. This is one point for running a great company to work for, and not to mention that it encourages employee retention.