Telecommuting

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TELECOMMUTING

Brett Melillo

October 6th, 2011

Telecommuting or telework allows employees of a company to work from home or any other remote location other than an office. Telecommuting requires employees to be able to access all of the computer applications they have available to them at work in order to perform their jobs adequately. The company should provide Internet access to employees at their homes and make sure they have the appropriate equipment to run and access company provided software. While some experts argue telecommuting is more cost-efficient, may increase productivity and create a better work/life balance, others say the cost of decreased face time co-workers, effect it has on workers left at the office, and its failure to live up to some of its expectations could make it a less attractive option.  By implementing telecommuting, a company has the possibility to save significantly. Because of telework, employees will be able to work from remote locations and will not have a need to come into the office. This will eliminate the need for a physical location for most employees, which will result in a large savings per month. Each employee can use their computer at home or be provided one by the company. By implementing telecommuting, it would prevent the need to expand physical locations in the future. Savings would also increase based on the lack of utility bills associated with the physical location, cancelling T1 lines, and landline phones. Each employee can communicate with each other and customers via their company cell phone, which usually is already provided to them or their home landline phone if they wish. The company will then be responsible for their Internet connection in the form of a reimbursement.

EXAMPLE 1:

| Costs Per Month|
| Physical Location | Telecommuting|
Rent| $10,000| $0|
Utilities| $800| $0|
Landline Phone| $1,500| $0|
Internet| $300| $2,100|
Total| $12,600| $2,100|
(Butler, Aasheim, & Williams, 2007)

The figure above outlines the total costs of each arrangement. It is clear that telecommuting has the potential to save a company more money almost immediately after implementation. This is true only if every person in the company telecommutes. As some companies telecommuting policies say, the employee who telecommutes must report to a centralized workplace for a portion of time each week. If this is true, telecommuting is not as cost efficient as it seems. Transportation costs are also drastically reduced for employees. Because they would no longer need to commute to the office everyday, costs associated with a daily commute would be drastically reduced. This would also save money for the company. The federal government offers tax incentives to companies who make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. By implementing telecommuting, any company would be eligible for the tax incentives the very next year. In a study conducted at the Kentucky American Water Company, performed from 1998-2003, it was concluded that a significant savings could be made per employee (Butler, Aasheim, & Williams, 2007). The article points out that for the Kentucky American Water Company, “savings include reduced expenses for office space and parking, and a reduction in complaints handled by the managers.” In a chart produced in the study, it compares the costs and savings of implementing the telecommuting process in the call center portion of the company. Their conclusion, on average, was telecommuting will save KAWC $1,361 per employee (p. 102). “Research has shown that telework is related to higher job satisfaction and a variety of positive employee outcomes,” writes Karen Fonner for the Journal for Applied Communication Research (Fonner & Roloff, 2010, p. 340). Telework helps employees manage their personal and work lives more effectively than working in an office setting. By releasing employees from the constraints of a physical office,...
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