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In recent years, we have witnessed the growing rate of telecommuting. Today, many people work in their homes perform various professional activities and earn money in this way. There are many misconceptions about the concept of teleworking that many of you may have heard. If you want to enter this field with a correct understanding of the concept of telecommuting, join us in this article.
The following is an introduction to telecommuting, including the history of how it was formed and developed, the extent of learning, the future of teleworking, and the role of technology in the growth and development of telecommuting. But before entering into these topics, it is necessary to provide a precise definition of the term telecommuting.
Remote Working is defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as follows:
“A situation in which employees work mostly from home and interact with the organization using email and telephone.”
According to the Labor Department of US, telecommuting is:
“Telecommuting (Remote Work | Teleworking | Work From Home) is a business organization in which employees do not travel to work or travel to attend work. Do not have a centralized office building, warehouse, or store.”
What Is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting or Teleworking is an agreement between the employer and the employee in which the employee can work anywhere outside the office. Teleworking actually means working in a place far away from the office.
Now, this telecommuting can be done at home, in a cafe, in a library, or anywhere else. If you are looking to work in such a situation, you will come across various concepts such as teleworking, freelance, and freelancing that have similarities with each other.
Who Is a Telecommuter?
Once we understand what telecommuting is. We now answer the question of who is a Teleworker. Teleworkers are people who work under the supervision of an organization or in person at home. teleworking uses devices such as computers, communication channels, telephones, fax machines, modems, and other required technologies.
Using technology helps telecommuters connect with the people they work with and their customers. Telecommunication is not possible without the use of these technologies and communication facilities. One of the main factors in the emergence of teleworking is the development of information technology.
History Of Telecommuting
From the late 1970s, when microcomputers and modems became available to the public, the dream of working remotely came true. Jack M. Niels, a Former NASA engineer referred to in various books as the father of telecommuting, was the first to formally investigate the subject, and the idea of telecommuting first came to him in the 1970s.
Niels introduced teleworking as a way of saving energy and a stylish lifestyle. He conducted his first telecommuting experiments in 1973 and 1974, based on his studies in the field. His studies and experiments in teleworking convinced the world that teleworking could be an alternative to traditional commuting.
Types of Telecommuting
There are generally three telecommuting examples:
Full-Time Telecommuting: This means that the telecommuting employee performs and completes almost all or all of the assigned tasks outside the office. In this case, teleworking can also be registered as work at home.
Part-Time Telecommuting: This means that teleworking personnel perform and complete non-office tasks on a regular basis, but not five days a week. For example, a telecommuter may telework one or more days a week, every two weeks, or several days a month.
Occasional Telecommuting: This means that the telecommuting employee does not telecommute regularly. This type of telecommuting may occur in the event of a medical, climatic, or hazardous situation that does not allow the employee to work in the office in safe conditions.
Sometimes occasional teleworking may occur as a result of preparing specific projects that require a great deal of focus, Of course, there is no need for the employee to be physically present in the office.
IES Partner Ursula Hoos is an established international reference in the field of telecommuting and has different approaches to different types of telecommuting.
The five main types of telecommuting according to Ursula Lust are:
Multi-Local Telecommuting: This form of telecommuting means that the teleworking employee is rotating between the employer’s office and the work elsewhere. Normally, the secondary workplace is the home, but it may be any other place.
Home Telecommuting: This type of telecommuting means that the telecommuter is only home-based and only works for one telecommuter, even if the telecommuter is not like a formal employee. This type of teleworking generally involves low-skilled work done by people who are tied up at home to care for their children or other dependents.
Independent Telecommuting: Independent telecommuters, unlike home telecommuters, work for different clients instead of working for a single employer.
Mobile Telecommuting: Mobile telecommuting consists of several different types of work that can be considered in groups such as travel sales agents, inspectors, or maintenance engineers. New technologies, especially the development of portable equipment such as notebooks, mobile phones, portable fax machines, etc., have increased the amount of professional, technical, and managerial work in all geographical locations.
Support Displacement Function: The first four categories of telecommuting include activities that teleworking personnel can perform separately from their workplace. Switching support is another form of telecommuting that takes place in the remote workplace.
Many large companies have noticed the rapid growth of specialized centers in the field of activities such as data entry, customer service, flight booking, telephone banking, and postal ordering. These centers operate under a subcontractor under the direct control of a telecommuter.
This type of telecommuting also faces various problems, including lack of prospects for promotion, health and security problems, and issues related to equal opportunities, for example, very low-cost jobs done by women.
Benefits of Telecommuting For Employers
Providing telecommuting opportunities for employees will save you $ 11,000 in office space per employee each year, giving you more money to invest in other sensitive areas of the business.
More Participation And Belonging
Providing teleworking is a great way to create a sense of organizational belonging in a talented workforce. With more flexibility, employees are more likely to stay with you and perform better.
Better Recruitment of Talented And Superior Workforce
Finding employees with special skills can be difficult in a given area. Despite teleworking, you no longer have this limitation and you can hire other people from another part of the country or anywhere in the world.
Benefits of Telecommuting for Employees
Whether you drive or use public transport, travel costs are not negligible. Working from home, even one or two days a week, can help control travel costs, as well as help, protect the environment.
Going to work takes up a significant portion of a person’s time each day. Working from home helps employees avoid long and often stressful commutes.
The office environment does not lead to higher concentration because there is always the phone ringing, the constant whispering of colleagues, and the sound of doors opening and closing. Teleworking allows employees to work in a comfortable, quiet environment, where they can focus on their immediate tasks and have more control over their work.
Teleworking means that employees no longer need to work 9 hours 5 days a week. This allows them to be much more flexible about personal commitments and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Corona And Telecommuting At Home
Due to the prevalence of coronavirus these days, many people have lost their jobs. Many companies and offices have been shut down and suffered heavy losses. There are many companies and organizations that can do their work from home.
In companies where pre-work conditions are pre-arranged, people can now perform their daily chores at home without any worries or disruptions.
This can be beneficial for everyone, the employee, the employer, and the community. Because the closure of jobs can reduce the economic prosperity in the country. But despite the telecommuting conditions, the following benefits can be enjoyed.
Maintaining the Health
Telecommuting helps maintain the health of individual employees and helps break the chain of outbreaks of coronavirus. The more departments and organizations expand teleworking, the better the health of the community.
Smoothly Once you understand the terms and infrastructure of telecommuting, every single employee in an organization can continue to work without problems.
Sustainability of the Society’s Economy
Creating telework conditions in society prevents the unemployment of many people. When the work activities in the country are stable, the society’s economy is also stable.
Preventing Financial Losses
The existence of telecommuting infrastructure and its expansion in various fields prevents the occurrence of losses for individuals. With telecommunications infrastructure, the employer is not harmed and the employee does not lose his job.
Disadvantages of Telecommuting for Employers
Lack of Supervision
Having remote employees can make it difficult for managers to control and monitor them. In some businesses, this lack of oversight can be costly.
Incidence Of Misunderstanding
Even with so many communication channels, some of the information in these exchanges is likely to be lost, which can lead to misunderstandings.
Organizational Culture Stagnation
Having common values and goals is essential for the success of any company. When a large number of employees work remotely, developing and promoting these goals and values among team members becomes very challenging.
Disadvantages of Telecommuting for Employees
Lack of Social Interaction
While many people enjoy the comfort and isolation of work, people who are more extroverted may feel lonely and isolated in this way.
Vulnerability to Potential Problems
Dealing with any technical issues or work-related emergencies can be a major challenge for a teleworking employee. Most of the time, you are basically yourself, and this lack of immediate support can undermine your responsibility and accountability.
Blurring the Line Between Work And Life
In most cases, the flexibility provided by telecommuting can lead to a better work-life balance. People who are prone to procrastination or vice versa will get into trouble here.
Challenges of Telecommuting
Teleworking has various challenges that have been addressed in various sections. In a general summary, the following can be mentioned as teleworking challenges for telecommuting forces. It is noteworthy that in the following sections, strategies for overcoming these challenges are outlined.
- Difficulty in time management
- Difficulty prioritizing tasks
- Blurring the line between work and life for telecommuters
- Drag things as much as the whole day
- Difficulty interacting with working groups
- Absence from the gathering
- Lack of understanding of others’ working conditions and the fact that the telecommuter works at home; Not fun, relaxation, and spending time at home.
- Improper health habits
- Lack of productivity due to laziness
- Security risks due to connecting to the workplace from the laptop anytime and anywhere
- Internet connection problem
What is the Result of Telecommuting?
Now that we understand what telecommuting is, some may believe that in this situation, things will not be done 100% as in the past. Or it may take some time to get things done as they used to. But we must say that teleworking is far better than unemployment and closure.
Companies and organizations that do not have telecommuting infrastructure can use companies that provide services in this area and build this infrastructure. Companies can use a secure teleworking system to create telecommuting conditions. So that people can work in these critical situations.
If the virus breaks the chain for a long time, it can cause a lot of damage. So by creating telecommuting conditions, these damages can be prevented. You can also build the infrastructure for the future of your business and your organization. If there is a problem in the future, you can deal with it and solve the problem away from worrying about work.
In general, telecommuting is an emerging phenomenon that has fortunately attracted the attention of many people around the world. The phenomenon of teleworking is at the same time to the benefit of employers and job seekers. Also, the rapid expansion of cyberspace and human online life today has created conditions in which a significant segment of people can earn money remotely.