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Developments in telecommunications technology have created many advantages, such as flexible working hours or telecommuting. Research studies, such as the one conducted by Brenda A. Lautsch and Ellen E. Kossek in January 2011, predict growth in its popularity worldwide in coming years. However, there are some disadvantages to telecommunication, even though they are more rarely discussed.
Longer working day
It is true that telecommuters can often choose what hours to work during the day but this can result in being stuck in the work all the time. This happens because of telecommuters' inability to strike the right balance between work and personal life and eventually results in having to restrict out-of-work activities to meet project deadlines. The time spent on working out the plan of the day is lost and it is not possible to make it up.
Office workers have the privilege of getting on-site immediate feedback and hence have a chance to improve their work. It is much easier to be in control of things that matter to you when you know exactly how what you propose is accepted by employers, colleagues, and clients by seeing their immediate reaction. Of course, telecommuters eventually feel what was done wrong, but it may be too late.
Telecommuters do not have to arrange for travel to the workplace but they have to meet with people in different locations as opposed to office premises. This can be a small café in downtown city or an unfamiliar hotel meeting room. It is the telecommuters’ responsibility to arrange for their travel to those locations, although it is usually the employer who pays. Another problem with being at home is interoffice mail which, in this case, is not hand-delivered to you by a special office employee but rather has to be picked up from a set place.
People in offices occasionally enjoy freebies during the working day and especially when special dates are approaching. Of course, a pen with company’s logo isn't much of a motivator, but it is these little things that make people bond and like the company they work for. With telecommuters, it is once again their own responsibility to find a thing to love their company for.
- Organizational Dynamics; Managing a blended workforce: Telecommuters and non-telecommuters; Brenda A. Lautsch, Ellen Ernst Kossek; Volume 40, Issue 1, January–March 2011
- PC World: 17 telecommuting disadvantages
- Today's Engineer Online: Telecommuting pros and cons
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