Potential Benefits and disadvantages of Telecommuting to individuals and organizations

Technological advancements have greatly aided achievement of better work-life balance programs. One such area where companies are reaping benefits out of technological advances is in telecommuting. At the individual level, telecommuting increases ones’ independence thus helping hone ones organization and responsibility skills (Harpaz, 2002). Increased flexibility in working hours also enables employees to effectively plan tasks and leisure thus avoiding burnouts and spurring better performance (Harpaz, 2002). The organization consequently benefits from increased productivity, direct cost saving in aspects such as maintenance costs, and also in reduced employee turnovers (Harpaz, 2002).

The drawbacks of telecommuting to an individual on the other hand relate to absence of team environment which minimizes teamwork-associated benefits (Harpaz, 2002). Telecommuters may also become alienated from the organization following long absences with the lack of separation between office and home environment potentially minimizing their performance levels (Harpaz, 2002). For the organization, telecommuting affects the effectiveness of a centralized managerial approach thus may necessitate establishment of new procedural and supervisory structures which may incur substantial investment costs (Harpaz, 2002). Lack of employee commitment to the organization could also impact negatively on the productivity levels (Harpaz, 2002). Legal issues such as structuring workers’ insurance could further present challenges making telecommuting disadvantageous (Harpaz, 2002). Go to part 2 here.

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