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Telecommuting

explanatory Essay
1134 words
1134 words
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Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working at home (WAH), or working from home (WFH) is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or myriad other locations. Telework is a broader term, referring to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating the distance restrictions of telecommuting. All telecommuters are teleworkers but not all teleworkers are telecommuters. A successful telecommuting program requires a management style which is based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees. This is referred to as management by objectives as opposed to management by observation. Long distance telework is facilitated by such tools as virtual private networks, videoconferencing, and Voice over IP. It can be efficient and useful for companies as it allows staff and workers to communicate over a large distance, saving significant amounts of travel time and cost. As broadband Internet connections become more commonplace, more and more workers have enough bandwidth at home to use these tools to link their home office to their corporate intranet and internal phone networks

Today, telecommuters can carry laptop PCs around which they can use both at the office and at home and almost anywhere else. Telecommuters are linked to their home office by using groupware, virtual private networks, and similar technologies to collaborate and interact with team members. Typical ...

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...social hours.

In our ever changing fast-paced global economy it looks as though telecommuting may be well on its way to transforming the work place and “the office” as we know it.

References

Ellen Baker, University of Technology, Australia, Gayle C. Avery, Maquarie University, Australia, John Crawford, University of Technology, Australia “Home Alone:

The Role of Technology in Telecommuting” Information Resources Management Journal, October-December 2006, Volume 19, Issue 4

Butler, E. Sonny. Aasheim, Cheryl. Williams, Susan. “Does Telecommuting Improve Productivity?” Communications of the ACM April 2007/Vol. 50, No. 4

Iscan, Omer. “Attitudes towards telecommuting: the Turkish case.” Journal of Information Technology (2005) 20, 52-63.

Oppenheim, Richard. “On the Road Again: Gear for a Mobile World” Searcher March 2008; 16, 3; Sciences Module pg. 20

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. telework requires management style based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees.
  • Explains that telecommuters can carry laptops around which they can use at the office and at home and almost anywhere else. telecommuting equipment includes a fax machine, additional phone line with voicemail, storage media such as zip disks/drives or cd-roms to back up and transport computer files.
  • Explains that men and women differ in their attitudes towards telecommuting, and that traditional roles of males and females haven't changed significantly.
  • Explains the benefits of reduced travel time and costs for teleworkers, which is a primary motivation, in contrast to the "relaxed lifestyle" image.
  • Explains that an effective telework and flexible working program reduces the need for relocation to take up "career moves" and other job changes.
  • Explains that participation in the local community is an important benefit for rurally based teleworkers.
  • Explains that a flexible approach to working hours often accompanies the successful teleworking program.
  • Describes the benefits and advantages of telework methods for organizations.
  • Explains that productivity increases of 40% have been reported, though a range of 10%-40% is probably more typical across large-scale programs. teleworkers avoid travel time and the interruptions of an office environment.
  • Explains that employees respond well to the signal of trust and confidence indicated by the employer's adoption of more independent work styles encouraged by teleworking.
  • Explains that employees who might otherwise leave can remain in their jobs. employees who take a career break can continue working part time and remain up to date with the business and its methods.
  • Explains that people work in dispersed teams that can be assembled and reassembled as the needs of the enterprise change.
  • Explains that telework can enable staff to work limited hours to match peak workload without the staff concerned having to travel.
  • Explains that organizations with effective teleworking programs are more resilient in the face of external disruption, such as transport strikes, severe weather, natural disasters or terrorist action.
  • Explains that customer service can be extended beyond the working day or working week without overtime payments or the need for staff to work (and travel) at unsocial hours.
  • Opines that telecommuting may transform the work place and "the office" as we know it.
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