Why Are Some Companies Recalling Telecommuters?
Telecommuting has grown 115% in the last decade with more and more companies introducing work-from-home policies, however equally, many companies have been cutting back on telecommuting.
IMB, Reddit and Yahoo are all examples of big companies who have reduced the amount of telecommuting within their business or have even cancelled telecommuting altogether.
IMB was a pioneer for telecommuting in the 1970s with a large number of their workforce working from home, so when they recalled these remote workers in 2016 it was a shock to everyone.
The advantages of telecommuting are obvious, less distractions, less travel time, more money saved on office space etc., however these are all quite trivial.
For example, working from home supposedly means less distractions – this is true if you’re a disciplined individual, however it’s common for telecommuters to multitask. That load of washing obviously needs doing at the same time as this quote that I’m producing for a potential customer. Your friend wants to pop in for a cup of tea? This customer query can wait until after.
These home distractions can lead to a drop in productivity, meaning the worker either has to work longer days to make up for their breaks, or they simply accept that they have completed less work than they would have from the office.
It takes a certain type of person to be able to work from home, they have to be self-motivated and have the determination and drive to push themselves to be productive. But, even if someone has all these traits, their job role itself might not be suited to out of office work.
Software developers and sales people are the perfect candidates for telecommuting nevertheless, administration staff, receptionists and even direct marketers – all of which include face-to-face contact with customers – are best working from their office/usual place of work.
Working from home means less face-to-face communication with managers and peers, this is a huge step away from the ever-evolving office workspaces where collaboration and communication are major focuses.
As well as less communication, it becomes difficult for managers tot rack their employees progression and productivity when they aren’t working in the office, especially if they’re on hourly pay.
The answer to the telecommuting argument is to meet in the middle and create a solution that suits everyone.
Some businesses offer flexible working, extending this to include some ‘work from home days’ say one week per month or two days per week, will encourage workers to be productive both at home and in the office.
Allowing employees this flexibility will make them feel appreciated and understood, telecommuting could even be given as recognition of hard work.
Even as some of the world’s biggest companies are calling telecommuters back to the office, the overall number of telecommuters is still on the rise.
That all being said, we know no two people are the same, so how does your company approach telecommuting? We would love to hear from you.