Telecommuting Essay

1136 words - 5 pages

Telecommuting, e-commuting, e-work, telework, working at home (WAH), or working from home (WFH) is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or myriad other locations. Telework is a broader term, referring to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating the distance restrictions of telecommuting. All telecommuters are teleworkers but not all teleworkers are telecommuters. A successful telecommuting program requires a management style which is based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees. This is referred to as management by objectives as opposed to management by observation. Long distance telework is facilitated by such tools as virtual private networks, videoconferencing, and Voice over IP. It can be efficient and useful for companies as it allows staff and workers to communicate over a large distance, saving significant amounts of travel time and cost. As broadband Internet connections become more commonplace, more and more workers have enough bandwidth at home to use these tools to link their home office to their corporate intranet and internal phone networks
Today, telecommuters can carry laptop PCs around which they can use both at the office and at home and almost anywhere else. Telecommuters are linked to their home office by using groupware, virtual private networks, and similar technologies to collaborate and interact with team members. Typical telecommuting equipment includes a fax machine, additional phone line with voicemail, storage media such as Zip disks/drives or CD-ROMs to back up and transport computer files, and a computer with Internet access, preferably broadband rather than dialup.
Men and women differ in their attitudes towards telecommuting. Women have a more favorable attitude towards telecommuting than men. Recent findings show that traditional roles of males and females have not changed significantly. In other words, it seems that most of the home related domestic issues are still seen as the primary responsibility of women and for this reason women favor telecommuting over men. In addition, married employees have a more favorable attitude toward telecommuting than unmarried.
Benefits/Advantages for individuals
Reduced travel time and costs-This is the most obvious benefit and, for many teleworkers, a primary motivation. Most teleworkers have used at least part of this time to get more work done, in contrast to the "relaxed lifestyle" image painted by the media.
Improved work opportunities -Work opportunities are not confined to jobs within reasonable commuting distance.
Less disruption to family life-An effective telework and flexible...

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