You wake up in the morning, and there’s no rush to reach the office. Feels good, no?
This benefit comes with telecommuting or teleworking.
One of the benefits of teleworking is working at your own pace and space. You might be working from home, a nearby coffee shop, or anywhere you want.
Businesses, nowadays, are switching to telecommuting. Why?
Because it not only saves money but also helps the employees to increase productivity. Studies say that employees are 47% more productive when working from home.
Today, we will tell you about telecommuting’s pros and cons.
So, if you are planning to open positions for remote working, assess the pros and cons of teleworking before coming to a decision.
What are the Benefits of Telecommuting/ Teleworking?
Wondering what the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting are?
Then, let’s start with the benefits of telecommuting.
1. Save operational costs
The more you open telecommuting jobs, the more office space you save. You can keep a few employees at the office, and the rest can work from their homes.
This will reduce utility expenses as you will have an option to choose a small office space.
You can use this cost-saving approach for your business and invest it in the business for further growth. You might also get the much-needed capital for your start-up.
On the other hand, if you have more employees who attend office every day, you have to increase your office size and your expenditure budget.
2. Boost employee productivity
Among the advantages of telecommuting, boosting employee productivity is one of the most important. So, how do you get the best out of your employees?
Well, it seems telecommuting can help you out here.
Remote employees team managers report a significant boost in employee productivity. They achieve their regular and monthly goals much faster and with more efficiency. Also, the number of errors in the work done is lesser.
Several employees aren’t as productive in their offices as they are in the comfortable corners of their homes. They need a specific working space to focus well. Teleworking is the best option since it is impossible to provide a particular space in a shared office.
Teleworking is advantageous for employers as remote employees provide their maximum time and effort. They are more focused, happier, and satisfied.
3. Access global talents
What can be better than having the best talents from different regions working with your brand?
Teleworking enables you to do so.
One of the benefits of teleworking for employers is hiring employees globally. With teleworking, you can access the larger talent pool when filling a position within your company.
With access to global talents, you can build up a strong team of professionals, no matter how far they live. The aspects like traveling accommodation and a competitive salary do not apply to teleworkers.
As long as you maintain proper communication and use the right tech tools (like messaging apps, video conferencing platforms, etc.), teleworkers can prove to be the best contributors to business growth.
4. Coverage for more working hours
If you have clients and customers around the globe, managing time zones can be challenging.
Several employees walk out of jobs due to differences in time zones and resultant business hours. And one of the most challenging aspects here is traveling to the office at odd hours.
If you offer the option of telecommuting, more employees will be comfortable with working in unusual shifts. They can switch between their tasks and enjoy the flexibility in working hours.
Further, another benefit of telecommuting is that employees with minor health issues or sickness can also keep working from their homes. Hence, absenteeism will go down significantly.
5. Higher employee retention
One of the most significant advantages of telecommuting is that it helps you retain employees in certain situations that would otherwise make them leave your company.
For example, an employee relocating after their wedding might have to leave your company. But if you offer them teleworking options, they are likely to stay back.
Similarly, an employee might have bad personal relationships with a few colleagues. Even here, teleworking can help them maintain a distance from their colleagues and keep working in your company.
Further, we have mentioned that telecommuting employees are happier and more satisfied working from their homes. According to Stanford University research, there was an overall 50% decrease in attrition among remote employees.
Hence, we can say that higher employee satisfaction can bring higher retention. Right?
6. Improved work-life balance
If your employees have a work-life balance, they will be happier and more satisfied at work. And teleworking helps in keeping the work-life balance.
Telecommuting employees can focus better on their home-based workspace. As a result, they can do their work in less time. Thus, they complete their work sooner and take some time out for themselves and their families.
The result is happier and more productive employees.
7. Fewer conflicts
Conflict among employees is a common problem in every traditional office.
The more the employees spend time together, the more they tend to get into conflicts with other employees and the employer. As a result, the work environment gets affected.
Remote working reduces the chance of conflict to a great extent. Employees get to spend limited time through calls and texts. Hence, conflicts reduce significantly.
What are the Disadvantages Of Telecommuting/Teleworking?
If there are benefits, there are problems with telecommuting too.
So, here are the disadvantages of telecommuting.
1. Communication barriers
With teleworking, you might communication challenges. When you read a message or an email, its impact on your perception might be different than in face-to-face interactions.
Non-verbal cues like tone and body language play vital roles in communication. So, when you miss out on these cues while interacting through texts, the possibility of misinterpretation increases.
It takes a skilled telecommuter to understand the underlying meaning of communications related to work. This telecommuting disadvantage for employers stops them from allowing remote work.
2. Lack of collaboration
One of the challenges of telecommuting is team collaboration. Employees might often feel left out due to the lack of collaboration.
All the team members might not be on the same page. Hence, brainstorming often becomes challenging in teleworking.
When employees brainstorm in a traditional office environment with their team, the outcome is a lot more different than brainstorming or debating on video calls. The former is more interactive, easy, fast, and productive too.
3. Feedback Obstacles
By feedback obstacles, we mean difficulty in providing feedback to employees.
There might be a few supervisors who might not be comfortable sharing feedback over calls or video conferencing. These leaders or supervisors struggle to develop a relationship with the remote employee.
So, when such supervisors do not feel that a relationship is present, they communicate differently. It increases the possibility of misunderstanding.
4. More distractions
Not every remote employee has the same work environment.
Several remote employees have a home-based workspace that helps them disconnect and tune in to their work.
But other remote employees struggle to work from home with various distractions like television, games, social media, household chores, etc. So, if there are background disturbances, it becomes challenging for the remote employee to focus on their work.
Therefore, if employees have a noisy environment, they prefer working from their traditional office space.
5. Requires self-discipline
Telecommuting can be successful if only an employee is self-disciplined. The work mode demands a lot of discipline since employees do not follow any routine.
There might be several distractions at home. The most important is household chores. So, the parents might stop in-between interactions to address the issue.
Similarly, there are other chores like cooking that individuals must manage. So, if you do not follow a routine and implement self-discipline, remote work becomes challenging.
Though considered a drawback of telecommuting, teleworking pushes us to be self-disciplined on a more positive note. No?
6. Security concerns
With the increasing cybersecurity issues, it is obvious to worry about the security of your data.
Remote employees mostly use their device, system, and WiFi to work. So, there are some questions that employers may have include:
- Is their WiFi secured?
- Are they working from shared internet connectivity?
Though there might not be that big of a deal, they surely do pose a risk to your company’s security.
From public connections or shared networks, the possibility of hacking (especially in the case of sensitive data) increases. So, security concern is one of the biggest disadvantages of telecommuting.
7. Challenging without rules
As an employer, it might be challenging for you to manage the remote teams without proper use of tech tools.
So, you must set policies and rules for seamless teleworking. With the right regulations and policies, you can ensure that the team members are on the same page without micromanaging.
Though it is one of the challenges of telecommuting, with the right plan, you can overcome this disadvantage efficiently.
How to Manage a Teleworking Team?
Despite the disadvantages of telecommuting, we must focus on the benefits of teleworking. That is because the benefits will yield substantial outcomes if you can manage the drawbacks.
So, it is a must for employers to try and overcome the disadvantages of telecommuting.
To help you out, we have listed a few tips that can make managing a teleworking team easier.
Maintain open communication
Make sure the communication flow stays intact and seamless. Set a weekly or daily meeting to ensure that the team comes together and interacts. During these interactions, every remote employee can solve their issues in performing jobs, solve their queries, and ask anything they want to about their jobs.
Set clear and realistic expectations
For easy management of teleworking teams, set company policies and rules related to remote working. Give the remote employees clear instructions on communicating, managing data, performing, receiving feedback, and other teleworking practices.
Solve security issues
At the beginning of teleworking with different individuals, communicate the rules about managing data. That involves how the remote employees will use sensitive data keeping the security intact. Also, you must set clear rules about keeping personal and professional networks separate for security reasons.
Stick to the rules of teleworking that you had communicated to your employees. Make sure they follow the rules to work from home without any hassles seamlessly.
How to Unlock the Benefits of Teleworking?
While you can manage the disadvantages of telecommuting with the above practices, you must also know how to unlock the teleworking perks.
Here are a few ways to help you unlock the benefits of telecommuting.
Establish clear communication channels
Clear communication is of utmost importance in remote working. So, create separate communication channels that focus on a few things only.
For example, set a channel for communicating the project progress and establish another one for general company announcements. Similarly, set another one for new projects lined up and one for non-work banters.
These communication channels will ensure that you find the right messages at the right time. Plus, it will help in team-building.
Employ the right technology
Make telework work with the adoption of the right technologies. Choose tech tools and platforms that help you work seamlessly.
For instance, for project collaborations, use Trello or tools like a cloud phone system that will help your team track the project and its deadlines. Similarly, you can use the right video conferencing platforms, messaging platform that best suits your organization.
These tools are relatively easy to use. They help the team stay connected and don’t require much technical knowledge.
Provide ample visibility and oversight
Use project management tools when you have a team working on a single project. These tools provide each team member with open access to the projects and their deadlines.
Each member can track the project, provide suggestions, feedback, and improvise. Overall, the project management tools make remote teamwork easier.
It acts as a central point where all the team members can post their updates, ask questions, and manage the project effectively.
Be organized and stay productive
Using project management tools like Trello can help you keep your projects organized. The team members can see what open projects and which projects are in the pipeline with such tools.
It also helps keep the team focused on one project at a time. There is no space for confusion. The team can simply pick their task and start working right away.
This way, team members can achieve more milestones on time.
Practice frequent check-ins
Remote employees often feel disturbed when employers start micro-managing their work. So, to avoid that and also know about the work progress, set check-in guidelines.
You must communicate clear guidelines to your remote team about check-ins at a specific time and day. You might call for end or start of the day check-ins or even in the middle.
By designating check-ins, you can keep track of the progress and stay in the loop without micromanaging their tasks.
Hence, it is also a good idea to set weekly check-ins!
Talk about a daily routine
Despite clear communication and the right tools, your remote employees might find it challenging to stay on track. To help them out, encourage your remote employees to follow a daily routine just like they would do in a physical office.
This could be starting the day with a check-in about what projects they are working on. Then a mid-day progress update and an evening check-in before calling it a day.
Employers must ensure that remote employees stay motivated. So, providing feedback is a must.
During check-ins, discuss the tasks with the team members. Clear their doubts (if any) and help them successfully achieve their goal.
Provide the team members with feedback on their work. But ensure that it does not go one way. Ask them to contribute and make improvements in the work.
Spending some extra time in feedback can work wonders for your business!
Streamline Telecommuting With Multiplier
If you want a streamlined telecommuting work environment, find a platform that eases your transition.
One such SaaS onboarding platform is Multiplier. It can help you with your telecommuting requirements and manage your onboarding process seamlessly.
Multiplier offers 100% reliable employee payroll, taxes, benefits, hiring, contract management, solutions for your business.
To know more, start your free demo now!