Don't Get Soft, Remote Workers: Cons of Telecommuting May Outweigh the Pros

By Braden Becker June 29, 2012

Telecommuting has a ton of benefits, both to the employee and the business. Workers save gas and babysit the house, while their companies embrace the latest in real-time communication to interact with staff that allows them to save some money on in-house equipment. No argument there.

But there are intangibles people seldom talk about that might encourage the remote worker to think twice about pursuing it full-time.

Admittedly not the most universal belief, but working at home can associate work with a location that some prefer not to think about as an office. The home is a place of personal time and relaxation; blending it with professional responsibilities can be a volatile mix for those who aren’t satisfied enough with their workplace to integrate both worlds.

In that same vein are all the things that distract a remote worker from staying on task. TV, lack of screen monitoring for certain firms, pets or even children out of school can often pull employees away from their duties for longer than necessary. The zero-mile commute itself may be enough to dull a person’s motivation to even get up on time.

Companies are also forced to adjust to certain absences in staff. Shifts become harder to keep track of and meetings exclude those home-based individuals, requiring managers to compound their avenues of communication with a team they won’t always know is in or out of the loop on particular projects.

But amid the drawbacks, there are priceless advantages of implementing a home office, and cash happens to be the big one keeping all of the above from tarnishing the remote worker’s reputation. Work clothes are home clothes and lunch is in the kitchen, while daycares and summer camps are money pits parents need not invest in when the kids are right there with them.

Seems like it’s always the solution, but no less sound here: In a scenario of pros and cons, striking a good balance between work life and home life is perhaps the best way to profit from both. It all depends on the person. So here at TMC, we leave it up to you. 

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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