The pros and cons of employing telecommuters

September 15, 2015 10:57 pm | Published by | Categorised in:

The workplace environment has changed dramatically over the last decade, with the practice of working from home becoming a more accepted workstyle.

Telecommuting refers to employees who work exclusively from home, but also includes those who part-time at home, and part-time in the office. While this workstyle has been found to provide a number of benefits to a business and its employees, there are some circumstances where it may not always be the best approach for a business to take. Certain positions, such as ones that don’t require a large amount of collaboration, are better suited to telecommuting. Businesses should also be aware that for telecommuting to succeed, the right technology and the right structure must be incorporated.

To help decide if telecommuting is right for you, here are some pros and cons of the practice:

Pros

  • Hiring telecommuters means employers are not limited by geography. Many businesses miss out on a lot of potential talent purely due to potential employees living too far away from the office.

  • Telecommuting has the power to remove the stress of commuting to and from work and increase employee flexibility.

  • Employers may actually save money since they don’t have to spend money on buying office equipment or essentials for employees in the office.

Cons

  • Employees who telecommute must be extremely self-motivated, focused and driven to be able to work from home. From an employer’s perspective, it can be quite hard to gauge whether a prospective employee has these skills. Employees who like structure and routine also may not thrive in an environment that provides an extra level of flexibility.

  • Trying to manage telecommuting employees can be difficult for managers. Working with telecommuters requires patience, more communication and understanding.

  • Telecommuters may feel lonely working away from everyone else, and are more likely to be overlooked for career advancement opportunities. If they are out of sight, they are probably out of mind too.