Teleworking is an important aspect of working life for many people and there is evidence to suggest that more and more workers are interested in doing it at some point in their careers – if not now. The global pandemic has made telework – or remote work / home work – a “star”. In fact, many workers in the post-pandemic world are choosing this option.
In the US alone, 55% of employees prefer to work remotely at least three days a week. 29% of them even chose to quit when “forced” after the pandemic. On the employers’ side, the mood is pretty much the same: 83% admit that teleworking is a successful strategic business decision.
Teleworking sounds fun. And familiar. But what is it exactly about? And how can employees and employers benefit from it?
What is telework anyway?
Teleworking is the process by which an employee fulfills his or her duties outside the office, i.e. usually from home. It has become an extremely popular phenomenon in the past few years and in a variety of countries as companies recognize the massive benefits to workers and businesses from this agreement.
Why is teleworking so beneficial?
One of the main arguments in favor of teleworking is the better work-life balance that can be achieved through this way of working. By working from home, employees no longer have to commute to work every day, which can save valuable time and money.
In addition, employees perceive a higher level of satisfaction when completing their tasks in their own environment and concentration when working from home should be increased.
Are there any disadvantages?
Teleworking is not for everyone, however. Certain jobs require the worker to be physically present in this work environment, so some jobs simply do not fit this working method.
Employees who choose to telework also need to be very disciplined to avoid distractions at home, as well as to ensure they are organized and able to work well on their own. Some employees enjoy working in an office and can benefit from this environment. However, working from home can be lonely.
Considerations for implementing a teleworking policy
When an organization or employee is considering teleworking, there are several considerations to consider first.
To ensure that teleworking is a success, it is imperative to have the resources to do the job as if the worker were in the office. Technological advances are making teleworking much easier and providing better access to shared information and communication. However, issues such as corporate information confidentiality and security still need to be addressed before an employee begins teleworking.
Some workers may find that teleworking is positive for certain aspects of the job and perhaps one day a week rather than every day. In this case, teleworking can strike a good balance between working from the office and working from home.
An organization needs to decide which workers are suitable for teleworking based on either specific roles or work ethics. Also consider the impact this could have on those workers who are not considered to be eligible; it can affect their morale and, therefore, their productivity.
A company would need to ensure that the teleworker can communicate effectively with their employees off-site, and an organization should be able to provide the same level of support.
Productivity is often viewed as higher when teleworking workers, but an employer needs to find a way to ensure that this is measurable when a worker is working away from the office. Setting goals and deadlines can help with this.