Telecommuting sounds exciting to many employees. No more commute, more family time, no boss over your shoulder. But there are many concerns which you should be aware of before you decide to telecommute.
One of the first problems many telecommuters notice is a feeling of isolation. When you telecommute, there's no more stopping by a coworker's desk for the latest gossip and no more lunches out with your work buddies. You're on your own.
Isolation can be overcome by having some degree of access to your coworkers. In many of the jobs where telecommuting is easily accomplished it can be helpful to bounce ideas off each other, and that means some form of regular contact. It may be necessary to go in to the office regularly for meetings as well.
The next problem is related to not being in the office. Quite simply, if you aren't in the office you are less likely to be considered for advancement. It is easy to be out of the loop on what is going on if you aren't physically present in the office. It is also more difficult for managers to appreciate any obstacles or challenges you have dealt with, which may make it harder for them to accurately rate your performance when it is time for a review.
Telecommuting does not fit with everyone's work style either. It is important to realize that while it sounds wonderful to lack a commute and work on your own, you may find that your work style is best suited to having coworkers around you. It may have nothing to do with a need for supervision; rather, a need for interaction.
The final major concern for employees is how easy it is to overwork. When your office is in your home it is all too easy to just keep working even when you should be spending time with your family. Telecommuting does make it quite a bit more challenging to separate home and work life. If you want to continue to enjoy your family life as you telecommute you must set strict work hours and refuse to casually set them aside.
If you are meeting people in your home on your employers behalf, however, there is one more concern that you must be aware of. You need to know how insurance will handle it if someone is injured on your property. Of course, this is not a situation that should come up often, but it is one you must be prepared to deal with.
You should also be familiar with local regulations regarding home based occupations. Even when you are an employee rather than self employed these may impact the legality of your working at home. While telecommuting is not something that is likely to be noticed even when it is not permitted you should be aware of the legality of anything you are doing. It is a fairly simple matter to contact your local Chamber of Commerce or City Hall to find out if there will be any problems.
Benefits of Telecommuting for Employees
Employees have a lot to gain by being allowed to telecommute. It's more than just saving gas and being at home.
Benefits of Telecommuting for Employers
Many employers have doubts about how they will benefit by allowing telecommuting. However, there are benefits to them.
Telecommuting Concerns for Employers
What does an employer need to watch out for when allowing employees to telecommute?
Copyright © 2003-2018 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated
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