Table of Contents
Thesis statement: Telecommuting has been adopted by more companies since the coming of the internet and remote communication tools. It has benefited many companies in various ways such as reducing costs related to office operations, reduced absenteeism, employee empowerment, employee productivity, high rate of employee retention and a decrease in absenteeism.
- Claim: Reduced costs for the employer
- Evidence: Organizations use telecommuting to cut costs and as incentive to best employees. Individual, work, organizational and technology variables must fit to lead to successful outcomes (Belanger et al., 2013).
- Evidence: Telecommuting is reported to have positive impacts on productivity at the individual, group and organizational level through such work outcomes as decreased office cost (Belanger et al., 2013).
- Discussion: Businesses can save a lot of money by allowing employees to work from home. This can be realized through reduced overhead costs where a company will save on expenses such as utilities, furniture, office equipment, cleaning services and subsidies.
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- Claim: Telecommuting employees tend to be healthier
- Evidence: Research has shown that non-telecommuting employees were found to be at a higher risk of obesity, physical inactivity and substance abuse (Henke et al., 2016).
- Evidence: People who telecommute tend to have lower stress levels than non-telecommuting people. This is because telecommuters are more relaxed and in control of their daily activities (Henke et el., 2016).
- Claim: Decrease in absenteeism
- Evidence: Telecommuting can reduce the stress caused by commuting to and from work. Decreasing stress can reduce employee illnesses thus improving employee productivity and satisfaction (Henke et al., 2016)
- Evidence: Research has shown that a business may lose $789 per employee due to emergency time off and illnesses. These costs do not even include the expense of lost productivity and paying other employees overtime to taking up the slack caused by absenteeism (Noonan and Glass, 2012)
- Claim: Telecommuting leads to increased employee productivity
- Evidence: An employee who is already at home is ready to begin work at the appropriate time avoiding the stress and delays faced by non-telecommuting employees such as traffic. This decreases employee turnover by increasing employee satisfaction (Henke et al., 2016)
- Evidence: Telecommuters log five to seven more hours per week than non-telecommuters, often working even when they are sick or on vacation (Gajendran, 2017)
- Counterargument: Though it is a great practice, telecommuting has its own set of limitations. Future growth of telecommuting and the growing concerns of most managers and leaders regarding their authority to subordinates have been raised in developing countries such as India (Gajendran, 2017). Telecommuting employees do not enjoy benefits offered to on-site employees such as free office equipment, free internet, subsidies, allowances and many others. Telecommuting can also lead to a breach of security because important company data might be exposed to unwanted intruders.
- Rebuttal: Proper techniques can be applied to telecommuting so as to maximize on its benefits and minimize on its limitations.
- Evidence: Building a good relationship between the employee and the employer is key to a successful telecommuting experience. Proper utilization of face time applications and emails will enable supervisors to understand their employees and follow their progress as they work (Raghuram and Fang, 2014).
- Evidence: In order to enhance information security, some security measures such as encrypting data on laptops may be implemented (Holmes, 2008).
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Call to action: Telecommuting is an important activity that should be encouraged especially in areas where work can be done remotely. This will increase employment levels in a society and also expand the employee base of companies.
Concluding statement: As information technology improves and hardware becomes affordable, more people are able to acquire the necessary tools required to commence their practice as telecommuters. Despite the significant limitations, telecommuting has proved to have many benefits to both employees and their employers. It has led to reduced costs for running companies and this has motivated more companies to embrace telecommuting.
- Bélanger, F., Watson-Manheim, M. B. and Swan, B. R. (2013). A multi-level socio-technical systems telecommuting framework. Behaviour & Information Technology, 32(12), 1257-
- Gajendran, R. S. (2017, January 15). Unlocking the promise of telecommuting. Business Today, 26(1), 190-192.
- Henke, R. M., Benevent, R., Schultre, P., Rinehart, C., Crighton, K. A., & Corcoran, M. (2016).
- The Effects of Telecommuting Intensity on Employee Health. American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(8), 604-612. doi:10.4278/ajhp.141027-QUAN-544
- Holmes, A. (2008). Telework. Government Executive. 40(7), pp. 42-46.
- Noonan, M. C., Glass, J. L. (2012). The hard truth about telecommuting. Monthly Labor Review., 135(6), 38-45.
- Raghuram, S., & Fang, D. (2014). Telecommuting and the role of supervisory power in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31(2), 523-527. doi:10.1007/s10490-013-9360-x