There once was a time, given the choice, most of us would give up shampoo, chocolate, or maybe even our first born to work from home. I remember thinking “how much more work could I get done if I could just roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and jump straight into work.” Times have sure changed. A study by the Consumer Electronics Association found 37 percent of employed adults in the U.S. work from home at least one day a month. More and more Americans are purchasing software that enables them to work from home and have better communication with their superiors. Within the next few years, the number of Americans that telecommute is predicted to jump 64 percent. Is it worth it to the employees? Is it worth it to the employers? Here are a few pros and cons that may help if you or your employer is on the fence about joining this growing trend. Hope you enjoy Cathy’s Tuesday Tip! ~Cathy
Lower Stress Levels
Stress can start as early as your commute to work each day. If you live in a large city traffic can set the mood for your day. If the daily commute is long and you are dealing with lots of traffic you might go into work tense. These levels of stress build during your work day and then you must fight the same traffic to get home which just elevates your stress even more.
Lower Travel Cost
Not having to commute to work saves money. If you drive, you save on fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle. If you use public transportation, you save on bus or cab fare. It is also environmentally friendly.
An office space can have many distractions. Colleagues stop by to chat, voices echo throughout the hallways, and any random disturbance could keep your mind off your tasks. Not to say that there aren’t distractions at home but for the most part you have a dedicated space that promotes a productive work atmosphere.
Balance of Work and Personal Life
Without having to account for travel time to and from work, there is more time to use in your personal life. You see your children a little more, there is a little more time for housework, and going to the grocery store might not be as exhausting. Using the time saved productively also helps lower your stress levels.
Potentially Lowers Cost for Employers
If more and more employees start to telecommute it could lower the overhead cost for employers. Office space could be lessened and so would utilities and the purchasing of office supplies. This too could be beneficial for the environment.
Out of sight out of mind. Not being seen by your superiors could lend to you not being promoted or given a chance for a big project. It’s not that you aren’t doing your job it is that there is no face connected to the name. A physical impression can mean quite a bit.
Lack of Trust
Employers worry about productivity when they can’t actually stop by and see you in action. There is no way for them to be sure that you are actually working. Yes, there can be phone calls and there is software so they can see if you are actually online. There are ways around all of that. Employers know that they cannot fully be in control when you telecommute.
Working remotely can be lonely. There is no camaraderie, no teamwork, no new friendships being formed. It is nice to have like-minded people to chat with during your 8-5. If you or your employer are contemplating the idea of following the telecommuting trend then maybe some of these ideas will help with the decision. To those of you who have this opportunity, just know there are many out there that are truly jealous of the idea of working from home or some other undisclosed location!
To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.