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Telecommuting Pros And Cons - Part One

Updated on March 11, 2013
It may not look like it but this guy could very well be getting paid to work.
It may not look like it but this guy could very well be getting paid to work. | Source

While many jobs simply cannot be done off company property, there are many companies and employees that could benefit from telecommuting such as through reduced commutes, better work/life balance, and reduced equipment and office space costs for employers. Telecommuting is an effective way to utilize talent from across the city, in another state, or even from another continent. Telecommuting provides an opportunity to get company and employee needs met, often while providing more flexibility for the employee.

Telecommuting positions can be very hard to come by because many employers do not see benefits of this type of work and have no experience with it. Others may have attempted it and failed because the wrong employee was chosen, due to ineffective management, or a combination of both. Some employers they believe or actually have evidence that some of their employees are not disciplined enough to meet or exceed expectations from outside company facilities. These types of employees are not good candidates for telecommuting, but a fairly large number of disciplined employees are.

Pro's And Cons For Employees

Telecommuting is a viable option for motivated and disciplined employees in a variety of industries. It can be a very good way for employers to locate and utilize talent from anywhere. While some people think of telecommuting as a way to pass some costs onto employees, these types are likely only familiar with certain call center telecommuting jobs and not familiar with the wide variety of well-paying telecommuting positions that are available to skilled applicants or those earned by employees that have proven their skills and discipline while previously working in person on company property.

Many telecommuting positions today require some combination of using a computer, printer, fax, IM, Skype, etc. It also helps the employee if they know how to troubleshoot these tools to get them working if they fail and know when to get a service technician. Having this knowledge is preferable to not getting work done due to minor to moderate issues the employee could not resolve without calling and waiting (and possibly paying) for a service technician to resolve. Telecommuting can be done from home or elsewhere as needed, you don't have to work away from the office everyday to be a telecommuter but many telecommuters do. Telecommuting positions allow the employee to work both from home and on company property with a fairly large number of these positions having all functions performed off of company property.

Very few of the telecommuting positions that pay well are advertised to the public. One reason for this is because it is a good idea for the company to offer or agree to a current employee's request of telecommuting because that employee has proven discipline, experience, and skill with that company. Just taking a person off the street (or using referrals from current employees) without a proven excellent work ethic could be a waste of time and money for the company.

Sadly, many working adults do not stick to work guidelines and duties, productivity minimums, or sales goals even when they are forced to be physically present on company property day in and out. These types may even interview well for telecommuting positions but end up wasting time and money and can ruin the employer's experience with telecommuting as well as ruin any possibility of telecommuting for other employees.

Only those employees who see value in telecommuting and have the discipline to perform and be communicative are the ones who should be given an opportunity to telecommute if they cannot create their own opportunities independently. Many people simply prefer being physically present for work daily and these types should not be forced or coerced into telecommuting as some people want to be around other people while working and work better this way. If you are one that prefers solitude, needs to escape a vicious commute, or need more flexibility for your life and work, telecommuting could be a good choice for you.

If you are searching for a telecommuting job, make it known that you are open to this type of work only if you know that you will not let children, pets, soap operas, the couch, household/lawn chores, or neighborly chat keep you from meeting and exceeding expectations. Some people work in their sweats or pajamas while others prefer to get into the mindset of going to work and go through all the regular efforts of getting dressed, applying makeup, etc. To each his or her own. But, what matters most is the quality of work being done no matter your location. Many employers only care that you make yourself presentable when video conferencing, as for what you look like when working, that is your business. Work is work, no matter where it takes place and if you do not have a high level of discipline and self-motivation, telecommuting even one day a week is not for you.

While there are low skilled telecommuting jobs are available, there are higher paying positions for people that have the experience and skills needed for them. CPA's, public relations professionals, graphic design, web design, programmers, financial advisers, sales, editors/writers, etc. are just some of the decent to well-paying options. You can also improve your chances of landing a telecommuting position by having proof of certifications, additional languages spoken/read/written, etc.

If no telecommuting positions are available when you want or need them, you may be able to get your foot in the door if you are willing to work on company property to prove yourself prior to asking for the privilege of telecommuting. An excellent track record of discipline, communication, and meeting or exceeding expectations should be established for some telecommuting positions to be offered to you or to have your telecommuting request approved.

Some people are made to telecommute and others aren't. Those who are very social or prefer having face to face contact will dislike telecommuting. Employees that view their work only as an income and don't truly enjoy or care about what they do will quickly fall apart when they are off company premises due to having less supervision, if any at all. If they are lucky, they may be asked to report to company premises and telecommuting privileges will be revoked. If they aren't lucky, they may be completely out of a job. Employees that prefer or don't mind some level of solitude (up to and including complete), enjoy their work, and are disciplined are best suited for telecommuting.

Telecommuting can allow you to get the kids to and from school on a more forgiving schedule, handle caregiver duties more easily, save you from a vicious daily commute, and can allow you to be more productive by avoiding common office distractions. You can also save a large amount of money on clothing, shoes, lunches out, etc. Many telecommuters actually get more done when telecommuting because they are motivated to do so while others have saved time from having to commute and are enjoying such a good work/life balance that they feel doing a little more is a fair trade. Others know that telecommuting is a privilege and strive to do their best not only for themselves but also for their employers. But as long as all job duties and expectations are being met, telecommuting can be a good arrangement for both employee and employer.

© 2013 Express10

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