Feedback on Telecommuting

I asked other professionals to comment on the pros and cons of telecommuting. Here is a comprehensive answer from Danielle Major of KI Consultants:

Since the economy has put more and more pressure on the working class, I believe the telecommuting has become more of the standard instead of exception.

The pros and cons are different depending on whether your are the Employer or the employee.

I was the IT Manager for a company that liked to be on the “bleeding edge” of technology so I was responsible for setting up the infrastructure for our associates to allow for successful telecommuting scenarios. Even then, only a select few were allowed the luxury of telecommuting.

The biggest concern/”con” for telecommuting is the cost to the employer. Is the associate responsible enough to complete their work and be as effective working on their own as they would be punching the proverbial time clock? Is the employer seeing a reasonable return on allowing the associate the luxury of being responsible for their time? I have also seen, first hand, the HR Director go out of her way to cause problem for an associate that was allowed to telecommute because “it isn’t fair that she gets to do her laundry and cook dinner when I have to be here every day!”.

The “pro” for the employer is that it is an additional “perk” that he can offer to be able to retain good associates. We all know the “good help is hard to find”. When offered the exact same position for the same or even a little less pay, a lot of people will choose to work from home even if they do take a little less in salary in return for not having to pay for all the gas not to mention the time and frustration of traffic. It also gives the associate a sense of trust that they are given the opportunity to manage themselves and not be micro-managed. They can be happier and therefore more productive.

As a consultant, I believe that telecommuting or a home office is essential to keeping your costs down. I spend most of my time either at the clients’ offices or providing remote support. Even when I had an actual office, I never went there except to pick up files on my way to a client and it became more of a hassle than anything else.

Without the overhead of office space, electricity, ISP services, etc. I am able to provide fair pricing for my clients without having to raise my prices to cover my overhead.

The only “con” i have run into as a consultant is that sometimes the bigger clients may not initially recognize my company as a legitimate vendor simply because I don’t have an actual office. They tend to initially perceive my company as a fly-by-night little fish that may not be able to provide them with the level of professional service that they deserve and the long term vendor relationship that they are looking for.

To have the luxury of telecommuting, I prove myself on a daily basis to my clients with excellent service and support and they soon forget that I “work from home”. I separate myself from the fly-by-night crowd of my own accord and I believe that I am helping other consultants, such as myself, prove that our professionalism and outstanding service isn’t based on whether or not we pay rent for a superficial exterior.

Give us a call, we can help.

John Schneyer
Boca Consultants

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