The pros and cons of telecommuting have been hotly debated in the workplace. Marissa Meyer made splashy headlines when the CEO ended Yahoo’s telecommute policy when she first took the helm a few months back. There is no doubt that with the technology available working from home is a viable option and now it is possible to create an “office” nearly anywhere. But is it worth it?
There are undoubtedly benefits to working from home, both for the employee and the employer. Telecommuting saves costs on both ends. It saves employers money on offices, parking and equipment costs (many employees use their own computers, phones, etc. when working from home.) It also saves employees significant time and money by eliminating their daily commute.
Offering flexible work options can also be a draw for talented employees. It can increase retention and loyalty and can help recruit top talent. In addition, it widens the pool of potential employees because telecommute eliminates geographic constraints.
While there are convenience and cost benefits to employers, there are definite downsides to telecommuting as well. The lack of oversight means that employees have the potential to shirk their responsibilities. There are security concerns, especially when employees use sensitive company information on an outside network or Wi-Fi connection. Employees can also feel a sense of isolation as well. It is harder to get recognition for their work and they may miss opportunities for promotion.
Working outside the office also reduces the amount of face time employees have with each other. They could miss out on developing interpersonal relationships and potentially miss opportunities for collaboration.
What is your opinion for telecommuting? Is it a great option or do the cons outweigh the pros? We’d love to hear from you.
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