What is Telecommuting? What’s new, what’s good, and what’s challenging

  • June 7, 2019

The definition of the modern workforce is changing, and with millennials playing the most vital role in ruling the business world, employee expectations from top-level management are shifting. Nevertheless, today’s working generation is very different from what the employees used to be 10 years ago. Knowledge workers and the field force are becoming more responsibility-oriented and production-driven, with a tendency to get more done in less time.

Today’s workforce believes in leading a fulfilling day with a complete work-life balance without compromising work efficiency, performance, and timeliness. No wonder telecommuting as a concept is gaining momentum with each passing day.

What is Telecommuting
What is Telecommuting

What is Telecommuting?

In its simplest terms, “telecommuting” is the ability to complete office work anywhere and anytime without physically being present in the office premises or building. Also known as e-commuting, telecommuting offers much-needed flexibility to employees and enables them to work from anywhere outside the brick-and-mortar office space – be it from home, be it from somewhere while traveling, or from various other places like a coffee shop, a library, a hotel room or even a children’s park!

While working remotely, employees keep in touch with co-workers, teams, managers, and customers via telecommunication links like phone calls, webcams, distant conferencing, emails, instant messaging apps, and so on. Thanks to advanced mobile communication technologies and intelligent devices, telecommuting has come a long way in driving modern workforces.

Telecommuting Trends and Stats

An increasing number of employees who prefer agility and flexibility at work, telecommuting, or remote work, is gaining popularity in high-tech, financial, transportation, and communications organizations. Several forward-thinking and progressive companies are embracing telecommuting options as one of their core business strategies. 3 names to reckon with are Dell, Xerox, and Aetna. A pervasive study and survey report made by OWL Labs reveals the following statistics about telecommuting:

  • Employees with the flexibility to work from home are 44% more likely to be productive at happy at work than the ones bound with desk jobs.
  • Companies allowing remote work to their employees witness 25% less staff turnover than those companies who don’t have telecommuting strategy
  • 53% of worldwide respondents admitted that they feel happy and produce better at work with telecommuting opportunities.
  • 35% of respondents have agreed that telecommuting offers better options for quality employment.
  • Among all the global companies, 44% don’t have remote work options, 16% allow full remote work options, and 40% have a mix of remote and in-office work options.

Business Benefits of Telecommuting

Telecommuting or remote work options are paving newer ways for 21st-century companies to gain multiple business benefits – it’s a win-win situation for both enterprises and employees. The above-mentioned study report’s most apparent benefits comprise employee happiness, an elated sense of job satisfaction, and heightened productivity driven by flexibility and agility to complete office work from anywhere and anytime. Flexible and remote work options accelerate a company’s retention policy and reduce staff turnover.

Companies spend a lot in interviewing and training employees; hence, it is always advisable to adopt progressive employee-flexibility policies like telecommuting to retain the best talents. Another advantage of remote work is that the employees can be on-the-go to physically meet a specific customer or stakeholder whenever required by the business. Executives who have the flexibility to telecommute have shown 100% satisfaction, happiness, and engagement towards their work and at the office. Companies with telecommuting options can often save money in expenses around space, equipment and electricity, and other operational costs.

Challenges of Telecommuting and Ways to overcome them

Like every coin has two sides, telecommuting also has some unavoidable disadvantages. Apart from the situational isolation that working from home sometimes brings, there can be other distractions like a crying child, an annoying pet, uninvited guests, etc. There may be occasions where glitches in communication channels hinder team collaboration, and a lack of direct supervision sometimes poses a challenge. Above all, there’ll always be concerns about security breaches of corporate data and other mission-critical enterprise information in case of device theft or loss.

Working remotely in isolation also means there will be no brainstorming sessions that often leave loose ends of a tactical problem. Also, it should be kept in mind that telecommuting is not an option for every employee or every job function. To avoid these and many other challenges that can come between company flexibility policies and employee productivity, companies can take the following measures:

  • The company should have a well-planned telecommuting or remote work strategy and guidelines wherein they have to define realistic goals and workability
  • Managers should work around a document with a list of benefits, challenges, drawbacks, and technological necessities to drive a remote workforce
  • Employees should be interviewed to understand their competencies, limitations, the scope of work, and other responsibilities before being given the option to work remotely
  • Management should communicate with and educate the employees about the rules and policies of telecommuting, along with training them to use virtual collaboration tools
  • A proper and practical set of IT security policies have to apply to keep corporate data and device safe from falling into the wrong hands
  • Companies can also invest in robust Mobile Device Management software to control, secure, and monitor enterprise devices from the backend and optimize the users’ productivity

If done with perfect management and planning while protecting the corporate data with robust IT security policies, telecommuting proves to be immensely advantageous for both companies as well as the employees – ensuring employee productivity, job satisfaction, enhanced engagement, improved customer experience, and company cost savings, all at once.

A robust and intuitive Mobile Device Management solution like Scalefusion goes a long way in ensuring the successful operation of your remote workforce – credit goes to its enterprise-level management and security features and UEM capabilities, which enable companies to accelerate employee productivity remotely in real-time.

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Sonali has an extensive experience in content writing, marketing, and strategy and she has worked with companies where she was involved in the 360-degree content production and editing. An avid reader and animal lover, she loves to cook, take care of her plants and travel.
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