What is Telecommuting? What Are The Disadvantages Of Telecommuting ?

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Currently technologies develop very fast, making it hard for people to keep up with them. The development of these technologies causes changes in all aspects of life. Regarding professional life, new technologies influence the way of working. Telecommuting is a new way of working, which makes use of those new technologies, in which high speed internet is most important. Telecommuting or tele work is a way of working in which an employee is able to stay at home and work on his or her own computer instead of having to go to an office. For the sake of cost reduction and global environment improvement, telecommuting is heavily recommended by lots of organisations. Telecommuting is a new way of working that is presented to be a environmentally cleaner, cheaper and more flexible way of working. However, could telecommuting be only positive for the employee and his or her employer?

Some Of The disadvantages of telecommuting, both for employees and employers Isolation

A crucial difference between working at home and working at an office is the presence of colleagues. The fact that someone works all alone throughout a day, could affect its performance. Although it does not count for all people, many people seem to need to have the feeling of belonging to a team (Harpaz, 2002). This psychological aspect of being separated from the office environment which contains colleagues, new developments and occurrences is for many people very important. Those people like to interact with colleagues and to share what they are doing. So although people seem to feel better when they stay at home, because they are able to see their partner and children more frequently, the lack of having colleagues around could affect the quality of their work in a negative way. Other disadvantages of working at home are that some people would like to be seen and others would like to have responsibilities at the office (Novay, 2011).

Security risks

The fact that an employee works at home, means that important documents with information need to be accessible from home. For an organization this gives the risk that confidential documents could be stolen from the desk at the employee’s home or his or her car. Most employees live in a surrounding which is less secured than the actual office. As soon as an employee is about to work at home, his or her manager will not be able to check where those important documents might be (Sturgeon, 1996). Again, for an organization it is important to trust employees, otherwise telecommuting will not work properly. Documents could be divided in physical documents and electronic documents. For organizations it could be hard to secure the physical documents, however the electronic documents could be secured a little better. By providing employees a laptop, on which they can work at home, with the best security software, the chances of spyware might be reduces. Still the employee needs to preserve the laptop on a secure location, in order to make sure the laptop itself will not be stolen. Depending on the measures both employers and employees take, the security of information could be reduced, however the problems with the security of information will remain to be a big disadvantage of telecommuting.


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