Telecommuting Essay Research Paper Telecommuting The Evolution

Telecommuting Essay, Research Paper

Telecommuting: The Evolution of a New Work Environment

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David Hess

The yearss of describing to the office at 8:00 am, taking tiffin at midday, and driving place at 5:00, have eroded over the past few decennaries. Peoples today are faced with different state of affairss that make this type of everyday impracticable if they want to hold a calling. Womans are no longer the stay-at-home mas that they use to be. Many households are force into holding a double calling family to do ends meet or individual parenting has non left that as an option. Businesss have had to do alterations excessively if they want to maintain the employees that they have and besides to acquire the employees they want. Until the morning of the age of computing machines and connectivity that allowed users/employees to work outside of the office a construct of? Flex-Time? was introduced. This allowed the employee to fit their work hours to their demands. Technology has advanced now to the point though where concern can use full-time persons and have them work from about any location they want. This has brought us into the age of? Telecommuting? . Telecommuting has many pros and con? s still attached to it, but as engineering continues to better in this country the cons are melting off, particularly in respects to the velocity informations is going at. This is non to state that there will be a point that there are non any drawbacks to telecommuting, because there are many. The loss of personal contact and face-to-face conversations, security, and being able to train yourself to this type of work environment are merely a few of the jobs that can show themselves. Telecommuting with a certain sum of investing and clip can turn out to be a really profitable manner of life for many corporations and for employees.

Telecommuting has truly become a executable thought merely in the past decennary. The ability to be able to pass on through a computing machine at place with the web at work at velocities that make it functional are truly merely now falling into topographic point. Modems have been used for several old ages but have the drawback of being improbably decelerate in their transportation rate. Currently utilizing a 56k parallel modem, which means that the informations can reassign at a rate of 56 Ks per second, is a far call from the 100 Ms per second used on internal webs. Work can non to the full map in any existent clip manner utilizing an parallel modem. It merely does non supply the user with a speedy adequate transportation rate to do making concern work at place a clip salvaging thought. What has made telecommuting work is the creative activity of DSL. DSL stands for Digital Service Line, which is able to reassign informations at from 1.5 Mbps up to 8 Mbps. The DSL uses the same Cu wire that phones do but they do it at different bandwidths that allow both informations and voice communicating to happen at the same time and at much greater velocity. This is about 20 times faster than an parallel modem, which by the manner is unable to portion with both voice and informations at the same time, and makes making work from place via a computing machine a realistic thought. Companies are now able to make VPN, Virtual Private Networks, through these DSL channels which makes the user at place appear virtually as if they were at work ( Communications News, Dec 2000 V 37 il2 p24, Where? s the voice in distant entree? ( Industry Trend or Event ) Sanjay Khatri ) .

With the major hurdle of supplying a stable, fast plenty link achieved what benefits are corporations happening by utilizing telecommuting in their concern. The company Putnam Investments found that during the 80? s and early 90? s occupation carnivals were packed with people. It was non difficult to happen good qualified people to make full vacancies within the organisation. Today, nevertheless, that state of affairs is much different. Companies have had to reconstitute their recruiting procedure to get the people that they want. Another aspect Putnam investings found was that they were running out of office infinite. The company is located in Boston and Boston? s existent estate market has experienced a crisp addition. With companies seeking to cut costs while still provide the services and merchandises that create the net incomes they are happening it tougher and tougher to make this with so many lifting costs. This is what led them to seeking out telecommuting.

Renee Geezil, an employee of Putnam Investments commuted 60 stat mis each manner to and from work. She requested that she be allowed to work from place. The company thought that is was worth a test and agreed. The company purchased a computing machine, facsimile machine, pressman and a 2nd phone line for Renee to utilize at place. The consequences from this first effort in telecommuting were so successful that the company decided to spread out more and more to defray the jobs of office crowding. The company shortly had 330 employees working from place. They called this portion of their company the Work @ HomeSolution.

This opened a whole new door for the company. They now were happening that they could enroll in countries that were non so tight in their handiness of qualified persons. The labour market was tight in the immediate country but they found that in Maine and Vermont there were a high figure of college alumnuss who were under-employed. In fact Vermont ranked 4th highest in figure of occupants with at least a four-year grade or higher and that over 98 % of Vermont had entree to a DSL connexion. This was a gold mine in the eyes of the company. A survey of Vermont occupants besides found that 25,000 of them felt underemployed and 66 % said they preferred to work at place if given the pick ( Action Research, a Burlington, VT based research house ) . Another asset for the Vermont country was the fact that people from Vermont are really scruples of the natural surrounding and given the chance to hold place offices frailty office Parkss with trees being torn down and roads being made to back up them was an attractive option.

The company advertised the places in two local documents, which they received over 1,300 applications for. The appliers were so selected based on written and unwritten accomplishments, experience and instruction. They besides had to turn out that they had adequate room at place to plan an office and in conclusion the telephone company was called in to verify the phone lines could back up the DSL connexions. The company provided the high-velocity connexions needed along with a computing machine and any necessary points. They received on-the-job preparation and calling development aid at local colleges and besides through online classs. The employees were besides promised that they would be considered for publicities.

One of the chief jobs they discovered was that working at place besides meant being isolated from fellow colleagues. Telecommuters would besides experience disconnected from the employer. To help in assisting employees with this job they hosted online confabs with fellow colleagues, provided an electronic newssheet, and each forenoon were greeted with company updates. This all proved to be a really successful operation. The employees were happy with their occupations and the company was spread outing with much lower operating costs.

This was so successful that they expanded upon this thought when the demand for parttime aid for informations entry was needed. The company had a difficult clip happening appliers that were willing to work in the chief office part-time. The company sought thoughts to assist and came up with the thought of equiping a schoolroom at one of the local colleges with computing machines and offering pupils a opportunity to hold some on-the-job preparation and work experience. The pupils were allowed to work a upper limit of 10 hours per hebdomad and were guaranteed a lasting place on-site or at place when they graduated. This was so successful that they expanded the thought to two other colleges. The thought of telecommuting does non ever have to intend working out of a place. As seen in the above state of affairs groups of people can work together in distant locations therefore opening a whole new construct for employers ( Home Office Computing, Dec 2000 v18 i12 p102, Cultivating Teleworkers. ( Industry tendency or Event ) William Van Winkle ) .

Telecommuting is non ever every bit successful as is the instance with Putnam Investments. There can be several disadvantages. One of the taking current jobs involves security of the information fluxing back and Forth. The place computing machine is looked at as an easy? back door? by many computing machine hackers, that is to state it is an easy manner for people to acquire into company computing machines do to miss of security. Most corporations? utilize what is referred to as a? firewall? . A firewall is able to barricade adult male

Ys outside invasions into the system but in order for people to work from place they have to be able to acquire through this protection bed and they themselves are non protected by any type of firewall. It is believed that telecommuters pose the biggest menace to security. Home workers like to hold a sense of control over their machines that is non found in the workplace. Many people non merely use their place computing machines for work but besides for personal usage and because of this privation as small limitations placed on their systems. The telecommuter besides is able to disenable many of the security features put in topographic point because of the entree they need to be given. The usage of VPN’s besides work as a manner to convey in electronic mail that may incorporate viruses to the chief corporation? s web without sensing. Antivirus package is going more everyday, even on the personal computing machine but place users tend to be loath to update every bit frequently as is necessary. Technology is getter better and should be able to work out many of these jobs but altering the behaviour of people while they work at place will stay the figure one challenge ( eWeek, Nov 20, 2000 p18, Security hole: Home office? Telecommuting brings thorny jobs to security? s forepart lines. ( Industry Trend or Event ) Scott Berinato ) .

Beside security there are other jobs that are even harder to happen good solutions for. The face-to-face day-to-day contact that people have in the office is vitally of import. This is a clip where colleagues are able to portion thoughts and work together to work out company jobs. Interpersonal accomplishments are accomplishments that most companies look for in there employees and if they allow them to work entirely off from the office all the clip these persons will happen it difficult to do publicities and progress in their ain callings. Some persons might non draw a bead on to travel up the corporate ladder but for those who do this every bit seen as a hinderance in their development ( Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, Oct 2000 v29 i13 p112, The Pros and Cons Of a Virtual Office. Susan Thea Posnock ) .

Another job non normally looked at when sing teleworking is whether the telecommuter will be able to divide their household life from their work. It is found that by working at place some persons incur a higher grade of emphasis do to the fact they can non apportion their clip decently. These same persons are besides known to hold a difficult clip traveling on holiday and go forthing the occupation at place. This can do jobs with the person? s household life every bit good as take away from the occupation public presentation doing telecommuting a manner of life that should non be used by these persons. Telecommuting is non for everyone. A program some employers use is to do employees divide their clip between place and the office. This tends to maintain the employee focused on their work while besides giving the clip for some flexibleness. There is besides another unique job with telecommuting that is approximately as far removed from the existent happening of it as possible while still being the root cause, employees who are non able to telecommute resent those who are able. This can do clash and animus in the workplace, which hinders the productivity of the company ( Employee Benefit News, Jan 1, 2001 pITEM01008015, Telecommuting fuzz work, personal life. ( Brief Article ) Karen Lee ) .

The benefits are still seen as outweighing the drawbacks. The figure one ground people choose to work at place is to hold a better balance of work and household life, at least for those who can divide the two. Less than 15 % of telecommuters work during the standard working day hours, 55 % of their clip is spent on the computing machine or phone and surprisingly 7 % is still spent on direct face-to-face contact ( Home Office Computing, Jan 2001 v19 i1 p11, Nothing Is Impracticable. ( Industry Trend or Event ) Eric Grevstad ) . Ikea held a? Work at Home Day? at their shop and polled people to happen out why they telecommute. The replies were slightly surprising but non excessively difficult to believe. Of the people who filled out the questionnaire 43 % said they worked at place because they felt that they were fatter than others in the office, 68 % did non like utilizing the public public toilets at work and 54 % wanted the revenue enhancement tax write-off for their place office. Other more of import benefits are a 30 % nest eggs in office infinite and operating expense costs for the company, directors can oversee greater sums of persons, and surveies have shown that at-home workers earn 28 % more than the mean office worker ( OfficeSolutions, Oct 2000 v17 i10 p40, Successful Telecommuting. ( Industry Trend or Event ) Leslie Mizell ) . Productivity among telecommuters is 22 to 45 % higher due to fewer breaks, less ill clip, people don? Ts have to lose work because their kids are ill or weather related jobs. Nortel a company that is considered a leader in the teleworking moving ridge claims that telecommuters have a 11 % higher degree of occupation satisfaction, 16 % better keeping rate and are more likely to urge the company to others to work at that place every bit compared to their opposite numbers that work in the office ( eWeek, Oct 23, 2000 p81, Telecommuting revolution. ( Industry tendency or Event ) Lisa Kosan ) .

Group teleworking is besides going more popular. This brings together benefits for both the company and the employees. The company is able to put up satellite offices in countries that are closer to the employees abodes while still supplying them with a sense of being portion of the squad by holding them work with others on a day-to-day footing. Often the office infinite is found at a much cheaper rate than it would be if they were transposing to the chief office and it besides opens chances to travel where the endowment is located. Group telecommuting tends to work best when the groups are little and the group is linked together under a common map. The American Dairy Association was able to travel a group out of a Manhattan office and salvage $ 50,000 a twelvemonth in office rental disbursal. Group telecommuting stills suffers some of the same drawbacks that single teleworking does but non normally as terrible ( Crain? s new York Business, Oct 30, 2000 v16 p31, Out of Sight ; When squads of employees telecommute, it? s great for the bottom line but tough on communicating. ( Brief Article ) Joanne Cleaver ) .

So with all the benefits and all the disadvantages how can companies do telecommuting work. Glenn Lovelace who use to work for Nortel Co and is now CEO of his ain private consulting house thinks he has found the best method. He believes that most companies fail because they do non understand the sum of money and clip that needs to be invested to acquire the coveted consequences. He recommends that when a company is looking towards telecommuting they need to first get down with a little pilot plan. This pilot plan needs the support to run into their every demand and at least one old ages worth of fiscal investing is needed. With that in topographic point they can measure the advancement of the plan at set intervals and make up one’s mind what is working and what isn? T. After the twelvemonth is up and they find that they understand what is needed so the company is ready to travel the thought into other sections. Another cardinal Lovelace recommends to doing this work is to hold redundancy. In computing machine slang that means to hold backups to your backups. Telecommuters must hold a manner to link if there chief connexion goes down. What is normally used to ease this is to hold mirrored sites. A mirrored site is when all the information is duplicated and placed on a system separate from the chief system. This will let people to ever be able to link and finish the work they need to make ( Home Office Computing, Jan 2001 v19 i1 p90, The Telenetwork Puzzle. ( Industry Trend or Event ) Lisa Roberts ) .

Telecommuting has come along manner in a comparatively short period of clip. Companies are happening that there are major cost advantages to utilizing telecommuting for many of their maps. The telecommuters are besides profiting by this in making their ain hours and seting their household life with their work life at degrees ne’er earlier seen. The disadvantages are going less and less the more engineering improves and hopefully in the close hereafter promotions in teleconferencing will better the personal contact that is losing. While teleconferencing will ne’er replace face-to-face contact nor will it of all time replace the brainstorming that occurs at the H2O fountain but it will salvage money for the concern and it will do some employees more productive. Telecommuting is here for the long tally, now it? s merely a affair of how to do it perfect.