Time & Attendance - 3 Minute read

How I wrangled a python and fought pandas

Derrick Mutuma
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August 16 2021

Telecommuting

Advanced technology has enabled millions of people across the globe to work off-site, a practice commonly known as telecommuting. Before the coronavirus pandemic began, many companies experimented with telecommuting but did not decide. However, the ongoing pandemic forced many companies to embrace telecommuting amid all the restrictions and stay-at-home orders from the government.

What Is Telecommuting?

Telecommuting, also known as teleworking, refers to a flexible working arrangement between an employer and an employee where the employee works from a remote location outside the office. Depending on their preferences, the employee can choose to work from home, a coffee shop, a hotel room, a shared workspace, a children's park, or a library.

For employees to telecommute successfully, they need technology to stay connected with their colleagues and employers. According to recent reports by the National Association for Business Economists, 45% of U.S.-based big and small companies moved a section of their staff to remote work. During the same time, the number of employees who had never worked from home decreased from 47% to 34%.

Some of the top industries that offer telecommuting jobs include information technology (IT), sales, marketing, publishing, health care, administration, education, training, and customer service. Nowadays, many people consider telecommuting opportunities when deciding whether to join a particular company or not.

As telecommuting continues to gain popularity around the globe, companies will rely more on technology to increase their productivity and keep employees and management connected. Some of the practical telecommunication tools that will support mobile work are apps such as Slack and Zoom.

The Difference Between Telecommuting and Working From Home

People often use the terms "telecommuting" and "working from home" interchangeably, but the two terms are different. Telecommuting is an old term, used for over half a century. It refers to an arrangement where employees who hold job positions traditionally done in an office setting work from a remote location, either part-time or full-time.

In some cases, employees report to the offices for meetings and other events, but they may never meet their colleagues in person. On the other hand, working in the house means just what the phrase suggests: working from home. Those who work from home do so exclusively, and they usually have a home office and a flexible schedule.

It's worth noting that people who work from home are not always telecommuters. Remote workers' payroll is usually processed virtually after completing a particular project.

Types of Telecommuting

There are various ways employers approach the subject of telecommuting depending on their companies' needs. The following are three common types of telecommuting:

  • Regular or full-time telecommuting

This type of telecommuting is an arrangement between an employer and an employee where the latter works exclusively off-site. Such employees usually set up an office in their home or opt to work in another remote office. Only a few companies, such as Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Microsoft, allow their employees to work exclusively from a remote location.

This type of telecommuting is best suited for employees who are comfortable working from any location without supervision. The employees report to the company offices for important events or meetings once.

  • Occasional or part-time telecommuting

This type of telecommuting usually involves employees working partly from home and the company's offices. In this arrangement, the employer and employee may agree that the team members work three days from home and come to the office the remaining two days.

  • Special arrangement for telecommuting

This type of arrangement comes into effect to help employees perform their duties conveniently in an emergency or exceptional circumstance. For instance, the parties may agree that the latter works from home to ensure the continuity of the business during a period of disruption such as a natural disaster, pandemic, public event, or bad weather.

The employer may also allow an employee to work from a remote location if they're pregnant or have an infectious illness that may spread in the workplace. This work environment is usually convenient for employees who have young children to look after.

The Pros of Telecommuting

Telecommuting comes with many advantages for both employers and employees. The following are some of the benefits of telecommuting:

1. Saving money

One of the best things about telecommuting is that it saves both the employer and employee money. When employees telecommute, they save thousands of dollars in commuting, lunch, and parking. Some companies even pay for Wi-Fi and phones, which means that the employees get to save even more money.

On the other hand, telecommuting helps employers save money that they would have otherwise spent on running an office. Every year, the employer will save thousands of dollars on office space and utilities.

2. Improved productivity

While you may think that employees won't be as productive telecommuting as they would be in an office setting, studies show the opposite. Recent studies indicate that telecommuters tend to be more effective than employees who work in offices.

Telecommuting enables employees to avoid office stress and devote their time and focus to the projects at hand, which, in the long run, increases the company's productivity.

In addition, telecommuting makes it possible for employees to control their work environment and choose the work schedule that best suits them. However, the best way to ensure that you increase your company's productivity is by hiring self-motivated and disciplined individuals. This way, you'll be confident that your employees focus on the work at hand and nothing else.

Working in an office setting usually comes with unforeseen distractions that affect an employee's productivity. Sometimes employees have to deal with office politics and noise from multiple devices.

The decision most companies are battling with is whether to continue with telecommuting, request the employees to come back to the office, or balance both. Here is everything you need to know about telecommuting before deciding where you stand on the matter.

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