Telecommuting- Office Work without the Office Benefits & Downfalls

Essay by jennrubleCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

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There used to be a designated place, called the office, where office work was done. Office work was left at the office when people departed their nine-to-five jobs. Like it or not, the world of work has changed and the classical image of an office is no longer the norm. Telecommuting, or working from home or off-site, is a fast growing trend in the business world (Hawkins et al). Approximately 42 percent of all American companies have a telecommuting program in place (Hawkins et al). There is strong evidence to suggest that the benefits of telecommuting outweigh the costs. Some companies, though, are still reluctant to offer telecommuting to their employees.

Telecommuting moves the work to the worker, rather than the worker to the work. Tangible benefits include increased productivity, company financial savings, and environmental improvements. Intangible benefits include a better working environment, greater flexibility, and less stress for the worker (Hawkins et al).

Telecommuting is not suitable for every job and person though. It works well for highly motivated and independent employees (Grensing-Pophal). Drawbacks to telecommuting include employer hesitation, technology problems, and loss of personal interaction.

Telecommuting is becoming very cost effective for employers. They can save money by not having to provide office space and amenities for employees (Hawkins et al). They also save money in training costs related to employee turn over. Telecommuting is an increasingly important aspect of an organization's ability to retain top employees (Grensing-Pophal). Employers benefit from increased productivity by teleworkers, who typically have higher morale. Furthermore, telecommuting benefits the environment by conserving energy and reducing pollutants through less traffic congestion (Hawkins et al).

In addition to the tangible advantages for the company, telecommuting also has many benefits to the employee. Teleworkers are typically less stressed, thus they have decreased health problems. Telecommuting...