Telecommuting is a new concept which allows workers the flexibility to work from home or a remote location using the internet to connect their computer and telephone back to a central office. Sometimes referred to as nomad workers or web commuters, these employees utilize mobile telecommunications technology such as VOIP to work from home, in regional satellite offices or while travelling.
Although the technology to telecommute has existed for many years, it has only been in the last 5 years or so that an increasingly large number of organizations have adopted telecommuting as part of their HR policy in order to attract and maintain a new breed of employee who is more productive working in a flexible environment.
For employeers the benefits of telecommuting come from both a cost and productivity perspective. Now, many organizations are working to implement remote workers into their HR policies in order to reap the rewards that it has to offer, while enhancing their ability to recruit and retain high quality employees. Both employers and employees have found telecommuting to be a mutually beneficial arrangement in many instances.
Telecommuting reduces stress related to compromises made between family and work and offers an opportunity for workers to improve the quality of their lives by reducing this stress. With advanced telecommunications technology a large segment of our workers can return to this mode of “work-at-home” productivity not compromising either their family living or their productivity at work.
Time not spent travelling can be used to improve productivity. Much time is spent on unnecessary activities by people who commute back and forth to work in the conventional manner. Time is wasted from the minute one gets up to go to work until the minute one goes to bed after returning from work.
Many people job hop each year, and much of this “job hopping” is because people want to move to a new location. They enjoy their work, and they would keep working for their present employer, but they do not like their present location. If people could move without losing their jobs, because they could telecommute, the amount of retraining would be reduced substantially. This would increase overall employee productivity while keeping loyal and productive employees on board.
Businesses can often make significant savings in facilities costs like office space and parking space requirements when staff members telecommute.
There are many more benefits but these three are the ones employees and employers might consider first when they think about work from their houses.
Before starting a Telecommuting program we need to consider different elements.
First, business owners and/or managers should make sure that such a program will actually benefit their company’s ability to efficiently address its various operational needs. For example, some positions require an extensive on-site presence.
Companies should conduct extensive research before buying and implementing new technologies necessary to implement a telecommuting program. Information technology (IT) personnel can be particularly useful in shaping program policies and anticipating remote workplace needs of teleworkers. In addition, one has to consider the impact of telecommuting on other departments, both in terms of operational efficiency and morale.
Business owners should draft specific guidelines and policies for any telecommuting program. These policies may include reporting guidelines, delivery schedules for completing and submitting work, selected hours during which employee guarantees availability, employee performance evaluation criteria, and telecommuting work option evaluation criteria.
Finally, business owners and managers need to recognize that some employees are better suited than others to thrive in a telecommuting program. Prospective workers should be self-motivated; self-disciplined and possess good problem-solving and communication skills. They should also have a home environment which will enable them to maintain or exceed the levels of productivity they attain in an office setting.
As a management tool, telecommuting has been shown to improve performance for telemanagers and telecommuters by moving from an emphasis on activity to an emphasis on results. Common goals and leadership rather than top-down control are the key elements in the telecommuting management model.
Successful telecommuting relies on communication, trust and self-motivation to establish the working relationship necessary to achieve common goals. Training telecommuting and non-telecommuting members of an organization helps members develop and implement the skills needed to become successful and effective agents of innovation.
For more information on how to implement VOIP PBX solution for your remote workers, call Astro on 1300 799 659