In today’s “Information Era,” technology has been the main focus of the new generation. Whether for personal use or business use, societies function around the idea of making life and the process of it easier by the help of technology. It was not too long ago when the idea was so new that only the elite and people of great stature could afford such technology. Laptops and cellphones were exclusively for the rich and famous. Nowadays, even lower-class families below the poverty line own smartphones. It was only natural that companies evolved with the times and implement ways to work efficiently and more streamlined. The idea of working from home was born and it was formally known as “telecommuting." This paper aims to examine the pros and cons that come with using such technology in the workplace. We will look at how telecommuting affects both the employers and employees. Lastly, we will also review at how telecommuting affects the environment and vice-versa.
Table of Contents
Definition of Telecommunication4
Positive Impact on Companies5
Positive Impact on Employees6
Positive Impact on Society7
The Downside and Negative Aspects of Telecommuting8
There are many factors why companies opt to have their employees work from home or at a remote location. Some companies offer telecommuting to their employees as an incentive. In addition, they may use it in place to make up for not offering any significant annual raises. Employers are always seeking ways in increasing productivity, profit margins and overall bottom line. The recent recession has driven companies to aggressively seek ways of cutting overhead cost. Also, the recent eco-friendly movement has served as a catalyst that has propelled companies to implement telecommuting programs. Telecommuting draws a massive interest due to its positive impact on businesses, individuals, and on society. Despite its potential benefits and advantages, the downside can be damaging to the company and its workers. Definition of Telecommunication
Jack Nilles is a talented physicist who has spearheaded some communications programs for the NASA and United States Air Force. He also served as a consultant to President John F. Kennedy. Niles was globally known as “the father of telecommuting.” He described telecommuting as “information industry workers performing work using communications and computer technologies at locations much closer to their homes” (Telecommuting and corporate culture: Implications for the mobile enterprise). Although he does not say specifically that telecommuting may also be accomplished in one’s home office, the idea is implied. Nilles speculates that because of great strides in advancement with technology, “brick and mortar” office buildings will eventually become obsolete where telecommuting is applicable. Lisa Belkin, writer for New York Times, states that “The term ‘telecommuter’ has been part of the language for more than 20 years, and in that time the category of people it describes has exploded” (LIFE'S WORK; How to Make Your Telecommute Work). She also notes that according to the META group, “The number of workers whose only office is at home has doubled over the last three years” (as cited in LIFES WORK). Positive Impact on Companies
The most obvious advantage for telecommuting programs is the reduced overhead costs. According to the National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), “the U.S. economy could save $3.9 billion per year if workers with the choice to telecommute” (Telecommuting and corporate culture: Implications for the mobile enterprise). Deloitte has estimated its savings up to $40 million annually from reduced costs associated with decreased attrition rates (Time to telecommute). Some employees are found to have more company loyalty with workplaces that give them the option to...