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What Is Telecommuting?

Telecommunication technologies such as the telephone and the internet have enabled people to send messages across great distances. Here they can exchange ideas, send proposals and strategies, provide updates—in fact, they can do everything they would normally do at the office.

This is called telecommuting. This is working from a remote area, not physically present at the office but “virtually” connected. Instead of gathering for a meeting they can teleconference through a phone. Instead of handing over a report to the boss they can email it. And instead of traveling hours for a business trip just to meet a new client, they can discuss things through a web camera.

Telecommuting, however, requires an investment in the appropriate technology or gadgets. Some companies will provide a laptop and pay for Internet access, or they could require their employee to get it themselves as part of a work-from-home arrangement. Aside from these gadgets, it is assumed that the person has an office space at home, where kids can’t barge in or housemates can’t park their own stuff.

Telecommuting has many benefits. The employee enjoys flexibility by working at his or her own schedule. Usually job performance is based entirely on output (though some “core hours” are set, when the company and employee are available to virtually “meet”). The employee also saves on gas and transportation fees, meals, and incidental expenses.

The company, on the other hand, saves on having to provide a physical work station. In fact, a company that is composed entirely of telecommuting staff need not maintain an office space at all.

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