What is Teleworking?
Teleworking or remote work or the more commonly used term work from home, has become a preferred work model for both employers and employees. Teleworking where employees work and communicate through telephone, email, or video conferencing from a place that is convenient for them.
Are Teleworking and Telecommuting Different?
Teleworking and telecommuting both involve remote work by both employers and employees. While teleworking and telecommuting may be very similar in their nature of work, and often the two are used interchangeably, there are differences between the two.
Listed below are some differences.
- Teleworking: Employers and employees work outside the traditional office setup, using personal laptops or desktops and other devices or gadgets, for remote work.
- Telecommuting: Employees need to set up a workspace with an official electronic linkup to the central office to enable working remotely.
Presence at Office
- Teleworking: Almost all the work is done by employees through emails, video conferencing, and calls. There is not much of a requirement to be physically present at an office.
- Telecommuting: Employees might be required to commute between a remote location and office as and when required by the employer or business.
Proximity to workplace
- Teleworking: Employees need not be in a close location to where the workplace is situated, as all the work is carried out online.
- Telecommuting: Employees might be required to be geographically close to the employer or business, as they might be required to come to the office.
Benefits of Teleworking for Employers
There are a lot of benefits with teleworking for employers, considering that they are able to set up a well-thought-of and effective teleworking work model for their employees. Some of the benefits include:
Reduces operational costs
For businesses, overhead costs are substantially reduced with teleworking. Companies can rent smaller office spaces and reduce rent, internet charges, electricity, and maintenance, and for companies that provide transportation to employees, it becomes one less expense.
Better Employee Satisfaction
There is better work satisfaction with teleworking with flexible hours and getting to work in a comfortable environment. Employees are willing to work for more extended periods with the company, so the hassle of retaining employees is reduced, leading to lower attrition rates.
Increased Hours of Work
Teleworking requires minimal or no commute, so the time an employee would usually use to travel from and to the office can be used for work.
Early risers or late sleepers are typically early risers or late sleepers. The flexibility in work hours gives them more time to complete their work.
The employer can get work done by them for longer duration hours. Through teleworking, a company can hire people across the globe in different time zones.
Reduced Employee Absence from Work
Teleworking gives employees a balanced work and family life and working in an environment that is convenient for them. Employees taking leaves of absence will reduce, leading to better productivity and faster implementation and completion of tasks at hand.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
Teleworking means implementing a flexible work policy that allows you to tap into the best talent that is not in your given location. It gives you access to a larger workforce and doesn’t have to face hurdles of rejecting talent necessary for your business with issues like relocating, providing accommodation, transport, etc.
Better Focus on Business
Employers can focus on their core group that focuses on achieving company targets, goals, and objectives.
Benefits of Teleworking for Employees
Teleworking has been readily adopted by employees as they have had hands-on experience and have realized the potential benefits that teleworking offers. Given below are some benefits of teleworking for employees that is potentially making them readily adapt to this work model:
Lower Stress Levels
Vehicle traffic on the road has become a significant stress inducer for employees across the globe. The tedious journey to and from the office is done with remote work. A workplace could also be toxic due to conflicts with co-workers or managers. Having to meet them face to face every day could stress out some employees resulting in a dip in productivity. Teleworking helps you avoid those unpleasant meetings and makes you feel more at peace.
Work-Home Life Balance
Teleworking gives employees the benefit of giving equal amounts of attention and being hands-on in dealing with issues related to both family and work. With the physical office set up, this wouldn’t be possible.
Employees need not worry about clocking their work hours within a fixed schedule. They can choose to do their work when they think that they will be able to concentrate and focus. It can help them carry out their work to the best of their potential.
Working at an office comes with its fair share of distractions: a co-worker who drops by to have a chat when you’re in the mood to work, over the desk conversations from colleagues, birthday celebrations, team lunches, coffee breaks, and more. Teleworking lets employees escape from the noise and concentrate on their work better, increasing overall productivity.
Teleworking ensures that all employees are kept in the loop about all the work processes. In the usual office setup, most companies follow the top-to-down communications hierarchy system. Often, things are not communicated to the concerned employee at the right time or get miscommunicated. Keeping the employees in the loop gives them a sense of importance and motivates them to do their job better.
Higher Satisfaction levels
With teleworking where employees can choose to work from a place, they are comfortable in and at a time, which is convenient for them and constant supervision is ruled out. With reduced micro-management employees will get more personal space. Employees can work in a relaxed and stress-free manner, leading to better productivity.
Challenges of Teleworking
While there are a number of benefits that teleworking offers both employers and employees, no business or work model is without its glitches and shortcomings. Moreover since teleworking is a new work model and is being extensively used until recently, it does throw up a few challenges. Here are some of them:
The biggest challenge of adopting teleworking is technical glitches and problems with hardware or software and apps and also internet issues. This can hamper the productivity chain because unlike the traditional office there is no hands-on fixing of the problem by a professional technical team.
Teleworking gives you the opportunity of working from anywhere across the globe. This means company assets and information are spread across different territories, often across countries. In such a case, security can be a big concern if employees use Wi-Fi in public places or store sensitive information on personal desktops, laptops, or other devices that are not well guarded.
Isolation and Loneliness
Teleworking gives employees more freedom, the downside of it is having no camaraderie with colleagues. Since there is not much social activity and not much scope of making friends and acquaintances at work, employees can become disoriented and lose interest in their work, leading to lower productivity.
Lack of Team Building
Team building activities like team lunches, team trips, or birthday celebrations at work, play an important role in motivating employees. Team building activities give individuals opportunities to get comfortable with other members of the team, so there is a better work connection for better productivity. Teleworking hinders team building as there is not much scope for colleagues to interact with each other on a personal level. This can lead to a feeling of the monotony of work, which will invariably lead to lower productivity.
Loss of Focus
Working from home can be overwhelming at times because one can’t always maintain that work-life balance perfectly. There might be other areas from the personal side that also need attention. Giving priority to work and making it the main focus might get sidelined. Also, just like an office, teleworking has its fair share of distractions
No Control of Actions
While employees having some extent of freedom and autonomy over their work is fine, teleworking gives employees too much autonomy. Sometimes not having a boss around could lead to careless behavior or a lackadaisical approach to work.
Lesser Accuracy in Gauging Performance
The other challenge that most employees might face is gauging their performance. With teleworking gauging an employee’s performance might be far less accurate than what it would have been in the traditional office setup. This might lead to employees missing out on promotions and incentives. This will further lead to employees becoming demotivated, so productivity goes down or they start looking for better opportunities in other companies, leaving employers in a fix.
Tips For Effective Teleworking
Teleworking allows you flexible work schedules and the freedom to choose where you can work from. But sometimes the flexibility can get overwhelming and you might get confused about how to start and plan an effective work schedule. Here are some tips as to how to improve teleworking:
Organize your work for the day. Plan an everyday to-do list and set timelines for each task. Keep your work area organized and neat, because a messy place could be distracting.
Plan your Day
Make a list of daily tasks both personal and work-related. Decide on how many hours you need for office work and then set aside a time of the day for your work. This will give you a better work-personal life balance.
Create a Dedicated Office Space
Set aside a separate space specifically for work and nothing else. Preferably choose a place that is not used regularly by the family. This will lead to fewer distractions and you can concentrate better.
Don’t Entertain during Workdays
Don’t entertain friends or guests on days when you are most likely to be in office meetings or have the most workload. Having a guest or friend drop by will be a distraction and will hamper your work schedule. Preferably keep weekends or holidays for socializing and entertainment.
Use the Cloud
Upload all your documents onto cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive so you can have access to them at any time and from anywhere. At times during personal family time, something important could come up on the work front. Having your documents on the cloud allows you to work and not forego your personal time.
Step Out Once in a While
Teleworking offers you flexible work schedules. Make use of this flexibility and take a break from work. Step out once in a while. Go for a walk, or a swim, or do something that calms you, so your mind gets refreshed and is work-ready.
Communicate Regularly with Co-Workers
Make sure you are in constant touch with your co-workers through emails, chats, or video calls. Also, keep updating your boss about your work. This lets them know that you are working and not doing any personal chores or activities.
Teleworking Becoming the Preferred Work Model
Teleworking is becoming more common now. The pandemic has ushered in a new mode of work- remote work, teleworking, or telecommuting.
Before the pandemic, there was a hesitancy in allowing employees to telework, and remote jobs were far and few to find. Many companies didn’t want to or didn’t have the time to experiment with the teleworking model, as the initial office setup was working just fine. Companies were also apprehensive that productivity might take a dip.
What started as a temporary work model, is being looked at as a permanent one, as many companies, especially SMBs, see the many advantages of teleworking related to cost and infrastructure savings. Employees too are choosing to work from home, as a healthy work-life balance is possible and costs are significantly reduced.
Key Remote Work Statistics in 2022
- 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote.
- 44% of companies don’t allow remote work.
- Better work-life balance is the main reason why people choose to work remotely.
- 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home.
- The average annual income of remote workers is $4,000 higher than that of other workers.
- 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm.
- 74% of workers say that working remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.
- The three biggest challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (22%), loneliness (19%), and communication/collaboration (17%).
How Multiplier can Help With Teleworking
With more companies adopting teleworking and moving their whole business and processes online. Global employment solutions like Multiplier will help companies move to telework smoothly and give them the necessary recruitment support.
Multiplier has its presence in 170 plus countries across the globe. We offer end-end recruitment services such as onboarding, background screening, payroll, employee benefits and compensation, insurance, contract management, and much more to employers, freelancers, independent contractors.