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Employee Considerations – Remote Worker

In the past 30-40 years, it has become increasingly difficult to be able to work full time AND  enjoy the fruits of our labor especially with those we care about. It has been coined the “work-life balance”.  Escalating demands on our availability, our ability to continually access and be accessed by our jobs, as well as huge swells in road congestion, has forced employees into spending less and less time living. It’s a problem. And telework may be the answer.

As the office evolves, employees are becoming completely disenchanted with the cubicle mentality. Once hailed as the answer for increased worker efficiency, employees and employers found that flexible work places and work styles like telecommuting,  are the way of the future. The facts are in. According to the conclusions of psychologists who examined 20 years of research on flexible work arrangements, telecommuting is a win-win for employees and employers. “We found that telecommuters reported more job satisfaction, less motivation to leave the company, less stress, improved work-family balance, and higher performance ratings by supervisors,.” said Ravi S. Gajendran, lead author of an analysis of 46 studies of telecommuting involving 12,833 employees, reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Let’s look at some of the fairly obvious benefits:

  • Control over your work environment and setting your own schedule
  • Work performance evaluations are fair and accurate – based on productivity and quality of work rather than by clock-punching
  • Decreased child-care/elder-care  costs
  • Significant savings on food, wardrobe and dry cleaning, gasoline, parking or other commuting costs
  • Decrease travel time and frustration and more personal time
  • Less sick time
  • Increased productivity and less interruptions
  • Increased flexibility in residential location (often reducing costs of living in more expensive metropolitan areas near to employer)
  • Ability to participate in community activities
  • Increase job satisfaction and morale through added benefits
  • Tax benefits for having a home office

So how do you know if you are right for telecommuting? Consider some of the traits you should possess:

  • Independent
  • Organized
  • Self motivated
  • Focused
  • Good communicator
  • Extrovert
  • Deadline driven
  • Good time management skills

Your employer will have compiled a list of job tasks and types (see our suggestions) within your organization that are eligible for your telework program. In many cases, teleworking is strictly on a volunteer basis.  What are the drawbacks?

  • Maintaining boundaries between family and work time
  • Lack of socialization of the office setting
  • Potential for bringing additional work related stress into the home
  • Establishing  a “home office respect” from  family, friends and neighbors
  • The  fear “missing out” on events, promotions, or other opportunities at the central office

You decide. Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?