The definitions of telecommuting are quite diverse these days… From the recruitment point of view telecommuting is a business practice where majority of the work, if not entirely, is done and managed from a remote location eliminating the need to commute to the office on a daily basis.
A few years ago, it was hard to imagine someone working at home, in coffee shops or libraries. Nowadays, technology has made it easier than ever to work remotely — wireless Internet, instant messaging, web conferencing and collaboration software allow us to work seamlessly, regardless of location.
One in five workers in the world is now a telecommuter. This means that literally millions of people around the world telecommute either part-time or full-time and the numbers keep growing. More and more companies realise the benefits of remote-based employees and have already employed a more flexible work schedule, allowing employees to telecommute a day or two a week.
Telecommuting is expected to become even more common in the coming years, especially with the increased number of businesses expanding globally.
Many recruitment professionals believe that telecommuting can be a great tool for attracting and keeping employees within a company. By giving staff the option to work from the comfort of their own home geographic barriers are removed and companies can truly recruit the best people for the first time. Not the best people who can commute to the job or who can move close to it but simply the best people out there. With the removal of the geographic barriers also comes faster time to commence employment and savings due to the cut down of relocation packages, physical office space and energy consumption.
Also, the tools that develop and sustain relationships, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Applicant Tracking Systems will become more and more critical in the whole recruiting process. This is because we won’t rely just on person interactions and local branding to keep companies as top of mind.
On the employee side, working remotely can contribute to better work – life balance. It cuts down on the time, expense, and frustration involved in the daily commute to work. Employees often feel less stressed working at home instead of the office as it avoids the watchful eyes of a CEO, an annoying co-worker, or a strict dress code.
Telecommuting also reduces business disruptions due to emergencies, including snow, storms, floods, power outages, strikes and illnesses, improves employee health, promotes safety through reduced highway use and brings environmental benefits.
Working remotely doesn’t fit with the strategy of all businesses as it takes more than just being tech-savvy to succeed at telecommuting. But, if it’s used with creativity and caution telecommuting can bring many positive impacts in recruiting and some significant changes that all of us will need to be prepared for.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. What do you feel about telecommuting? Do you fear it or embrace it?
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