Many individuals enjoy working and communicating remotely but is it feasible and worthwhile for the individual or the organization? The value of company personnel working remotely still does not appeal to a lot of companies nor some employees. Let’s discuss the value of it for an employee and the company and its drawbacks.
In Part 1 of this post, let’s first focus on the employee. Part 2 will focus on the organization.
Benefits for the employee
- Less commuting time leading to a happier life style.
- Flexibility in getting the job done. Work can be done at your own pace at any time and anywhere. As long as the job gets completed on time and on schedule, then the organization/client will be satisfied.
- Less pressure due to no one looking over your shoulder and therefore being able to produce what is required more easily without stress. But at the same time you must be extremely organized to get the work completed.
- Less or no interruptions and hence allowing you to remain focused and be able to produce quality work.
- Easy to stay connected and maintain communication and relationships via on-line chats, phone conversations, Skype, email, etc.
- Easy to download or upload communicated documents as they are required.
- Being able to manage your own hours and not having to dress for the office allows you to have a more enjoyable life style.
Drawbacks for the employee
- If there is a power outage, what do you do?
- Lack of good communication
- Not having the same software as the organization or client, will yield more purchasing costs for necessary equipment and software.
- Increase in intercommunicating and phone costs.
- Not having face-to-face communication might make you feel like you are not part of a team. But you can work around that by using face time or Skype to be part of and engage in meetings.
- Having to keep track of and showing work and time requires good discipline and organization.
- Not fully understanding the product and its functionality can cause errors in writing and communicating instructions.
- Difficulty in working in different time zones can cause missed communications.
- Difficulty in understanding an organizations work culture and philosophy, can lead to miscommunication, especially if it’s in another country
- No ‘water-cooler’ or ‘coffee-break’ chats to engage in friendly conversations to enjoy a breather from work.
- What must happen if there is material that cannot be taken off site?
- What processes have to take place if you do not have access to communicated documents?
- Having to adjust your schedule to communicate and meet the needs of a client can be wearisome.
Even though I have listed more drawbacks for the employee than benefits, the major benefit in the long run will outweigh the drawbacks if it means an easier lifestyle for the remote communicator. Today’s technology benefits the remote communicator and allows for faster and more precise productivity, quicker responses, and more ease of communication.
What have your experiences been for telecommunicating? What positives and negatives have you seen or experienced?