For those who have never worked from home, the idea of telecommuting might seem like a dream come true. And, it is true that there are some advantages. There are obvious cost-savings like gas, car maintenance, transportation costs, clothing, and parking fees, but those may be balanced out by office supplies (e.g., computers, printers, ink, paper, etc.) which your company may not provide.
There can be health and social benefits when your former commute time turns into time at the health club or spent with your family.
There are productivity perks, as well. Time and effort no longer spent commuting can be channeled into your work, which can proceed without social interruptions from other coworkers.
On the other hand, the lack of those very social interruptions and interactions could affect your performance, if the isolation doesn't inspire your creativity or leaves you feeling lonely or without any collaborative partners. It may also be a challenge for you to ignore the distractions being at home can present, especially if you lack personal discipline or your family doesn't view your worktime as sacrosanct. Frank Mokosak "Pros and cons of working from home," desmoinesregister.com (Jun. 01, 2016)
So, the question for our readers is: Is Telecommuting A Good Idea?
Please let us know what you think in the comment section or take the poll. Here are the opinions of some of the McCalmon editorial staff:
Jack McCalmon, Esq.
Depending upon the employer, another advantage of a cyber office or telecommuting allows employees to live where they want to live and interact more with their family. Employees want more work-life balance, and telecommuting is a nice compromise. Employees can see more of their kids and live near ailing parents, if needed.
For employers, I would make certain that they carefully plan any move to permit telecommuting. Telecommuting is a benefit, so offering it to some, but not to others, can lead to charges of discrimination if it appears the criteria is based on protected class status. There is also the issue of equipment; specifically, how does an employer retrieve its equipment after an employee is terminated or resigns?
Although there are challenges, I think telecommuting can be extremely positive for some employees, especially if they need little management supervision.
Leslie Zieren, Esq.
After years of working in courthouse offices or law firms of one sort or another, my first telecommuting experience arose "accidentally" so to speak, when I worked from home to recover from surgery to repair my broken leg.
At first, I was lonely and felt "out of the loop," for sure. Sometimes, I would call a coworker and say, "Hey, talk to me. Tell me anything. Talk about the weather. What color are your shoes, anything!" Overtime, I adjusted to being alone.
And, very quickly, my boss and I noticed that my productivity more than doubled, so even after my leg healed, I stayed home.
This was 17 years ago, and I haven't worked outside my home office environment since. I don't think the experience is for everyone, but for some people, it can certainly work.
You can provide a comment on what you think or answer our poll. Please note any comments provided may be shared with others.