Communication Technology: A Guide to Telecommuting

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Telecommuting is becoming more common as an increasing number of resources and tools to complete everyday work tasks become available online. Telecommuters communicate via online platforms with their colleagues to get work done.

You may have learned that a growing number of workers telecommute, given the rising trend of work-from-home options offered by employers.

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The word “telecommuting” was first coined by Jack Nilles in 1972. Nilles was operating remotely on a complex NASA communication system at that time. He started telling people “telecommuting” was what he was doing.

Communication Technology: A Guide to Telecommuting
Image source: Nextiva

What Is Telecommuting?

It means working from a workspace that is located outside of the traditional office space. Most employees telecommute full-time, while some have the option to telecommute on particular days or at particular times in the year. 

You work outside of the brick-and-mortar location of a company when you telecommute, and you typically use technologies to assist you in completing your task and communicate with your boss or workers.

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Many industries provide telecommuting jobs, like sales, writing, customer support, and marketing. It is also possible to perform a variety of administrative jobs as well as technology jobs (such as computer and software programming) through telecommuting.

Some healthcare professionals have started to work from home, including health claims analysts and even some radiologists.

How Does Telecommuting Work?

The employee uses telecommunication to stay in contact with colleagues and employers instead of physically going to the workplace. 

The communication methods include telephone, online chat applications, platforms for video meetings, and e-mail. 

Technology, like Slack and Zoom, has made working from home simpler for office workers. WiFi connectivity also helps to practically make interactions seamless.

The employee can sometimes visit the office to attend in-person meetings and contact the employer, but there is often no need at all to visit the office with several options for video conferencing.

Advantages of Telecommuting

Here are the benefits of telecommuting.

Greater Flexibility

Telecommuting offers more flexibility to staff in their working hours and place of work. Working from home allows for more flexible schedules and a better balance between work and life. 

It also offers more flexibility for the employee to manage work and personal responsibilities, including school pick-up or caring for a sick member of the family. Generally, less travel time often means there is more time to attend to personal things.

Boosts Productivity

Telecommuting increases productivity. The home of an employee is a quiet spot, enabling them to concentrate for extended durations on the task at hand. Employees also feel relaxed at home and this may increase their performance. 

Commute also raises levels of stress as it exposes individuals to unnecessary noise and exhaustion. Allowing individuals to work from home decreases these impacts and leads to overall productivity.

Communication Technology: A Guide to Telecommuting
Image source: WalkMe Blog

Saves Money

Remote work can save money for both the employees and the employer. Companies save cash on anything relevant to operating a physical office an employees save on commuting expenses.  

Telework saves certain workplace expenses, for example, lunch expenses or free coffee, and can minimize the effect of commuting on the environment (e.g., vehicle fumes).

And if the employer pays for anything related to telecommuting such as computers, WiFi, or phone service, then the employee can save money on that too.

Higher Retention Rates

Remote full-time employees say they’re 22% happier in their careers than people that don’t work remotely. This typically leads to greater retention rates for employers. 

Many people who telecommute are satisfied with their jobs and less willing to leave their employers. This is because they become more independent, feel less pressure, and are trusted by their employers generally.

Wrap Up

Having explored the idea of telecommuting and its benefits, we can agree that it provides a much more flexible work arrangement with a stronger work-life balance for everyone. 

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