Telecommuting work offers the employees the freedom to work outside the company’s office. The most common location is the personal home. Other locations close to home like coffee shops or internet cafes are further preferred. The communication with coworkers and with employers is made via telephone, email, fax.
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An Ipsos/Reuters poll from 2012 reveals that one in five workers around the world telecommutes frequently and the trend continues to grow. Telecommuting is the most popular in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Turkey. The habit is least popular in countries like: Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Italy, France and Canada. Find below a few characteristics of a telecommuter.
What are the most suitable domains for telecommuting work?
Among the most successful domains that function with telecommuters are: IT (Software developers, It professionals), Translation and interpretation, Sales (consultants), PR, Marketing, Media and Publishing, Customer service (call center agents, helpline personnel), Graphic design, Education (Training specialists, online instructors), Financial Services, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Health Insurance (healthcare administrators), etc.
What is the ideal profile of a telecommuter?
Telecommuters enjoy many benefits like flexibility, control and less stress (traffic, office politics). However, there are few negative aspects that not everyone can deal with. Here are five characteristics of a telecommuter.
1. Do not suffer from isolation
Some people feel very comfortable to work in their private environment. Others simply enjoy face to face socializing, including those at the office.
2. Capacity to make a clear separation between work and personal life
Having a dedicated business space and business phone line is not enough. There are many specific home disruptions starting with the neighbor, ending with the own family. Close people, especially children, tend to act as if you are available for them anytime.
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3. A strong self-motivation
Telecommuters must have a strong will and a great passion for job. Good remote workers have very strong focus on deadlines and quality, no matter how many temptations are around.
4. Very organized
Capacity to work with minimum of supervision is crucial for this type of job. To be an employee means to be productive for a company no matter what is your work place.
5. Capacity to make relationships outside of home environment
Many telecommuters tend to become workaholic. On long term this can have serious consequences over social relationships. It is true that today social media is a very powerful medium of socializing. But a face to face interaction cannot be replaced with anything.
Corporations and telecommuting work
Recently Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer demanded telecommuters to make a tough choice: relocating from home, or quitting. Soon after the Yahoo! announcement Best Buy ended its telecommuting work program too.
Google is another great corporation that doesn’t agree with the telecommuting work. The company thinks that telecommuters’ creativity suffers in an isolated environment. Moreover, they miss magical moments like sharing meals, spending time together with other workers.
However, there are companies that successfully work through this arrangement. Unilever has over 100,000 of its 171,000 employees working in this way.
Companies that decide to use telecommuting work should make very good selection of their workers. Also, a good manager is vital. Monitoring is very important, as long as it doesn’t become over control and a permanent source of suspicion.
What do you thing about being a telecommuter? Have you experienced telecommuting?
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