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Remote Working – Is it Right for Your Business?

Hillary Cyril

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Telecommuting, the future of working, work arrangement, the future of work, and teleworking, is an arrangement where employees don’t commute to an off-site location of employment, such as an on-site store, factory, or office building. They communicate with their employers through computer networks. Telecommuting has become quite popular over the past few years because it eliminates the need for an employee to physically go to and from work each day. The telecommuter can work from virtually anywhere an Internet connection exists. Most jobs are based on computer technology these days, because so many people depend on online access to the store, gather, and transmit data.

There are different types of telecommuting arrangements for those who are qualified. Some remote work positions involve telecommuting as a means of bringing in extra money, by doing telecommuting jobs that require specialized training, or that have a learning aspect. Other remote work positions involve telecommuting as a way of maintaining employment and receiving a paycheck, even when a person isn’t working at his or her regular job.

Some types of telecommuting arrangements include telecommuting between work sites, between companies and remote teams, between dispersed teams, between individual workers and groups, among others. In most situations, there are several modes of telecommuting available, depending on the type of teleworking arrangement. These modes of remote work include voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), which allows communication between two or more locations using broadband Internet; internet faxing, which is also useful if your business requires sending and receiving fax information; telecommuter vans, which are generally used by salespeople or other individuals who may need to travel long distances to work; telecommuter coaches, which are usually used by traveling teams; and remote assistance, which usually involves professional services that are hired on a per-need basis. Many businesses also use workstations that are computerized, with telephones connected to email servers or web applications.

If you decide to telecommute from your home, you could choose to either meet up with co-workers in an off-site location or to take advantage of a coworking space. With a coworking space, there are typically designated areas for phone conversations, computer usage, email usage, and other common business transactions. You could also hire your own transportation, although this option could be rather costly. Some companies that provide their workers with a desk and chair in their workspace allow them to bring their own vehicles, but most companies require employees to use public transportation to get to and from work.

Many employers who allow their employees to work remotely have a requirement that employees use company-provided equipment. While some companies have no problem with remote workers carrying their own laptops, others have policies that require employees to bring their own computers and other hardware and software. As well, some companies that operate on a per-use basis either require specific items to be brought in each time they use them or require the employee to bring their own devices. In some cases, all employees may have access to the company’s equipment. If your business is one of these businesses, you may want to carefully consider what types of devices and software you will need to make remote working easier for your employees.

There are many advantages to working remotely, including the ability to increase the bottom line, reduce travel expenses and save time when compared to in-person meetings. However, there are some potential pitfalls as well, including potential boredom, poor job performance, isolation, and lack of social interaction. To be successful, you must ensure that you provide your employees with an adequate work environment. You must also ensure that your telecommuter’s work ethics and responsibilities are followed.