The Telework is currently on everyone’s lips. Well because of the social concern of the coronavirus crisis that is plaguing the world, as well as the solution that multiple companies are choosing to adapt to health recommendations. And it is that working from home has great advantages for companies, employees and society in general.
However, it is an issue that, before this health crisis, barely 10% of companies contemplated. Are we faced with the need to implement a new form and culture of work?
In this hasty scenario, telework seems to be the most viable solution in the business world. In addition, it will be a great experiment in which we can analyze how the teams work remotely outside the central offices. And with this, the premises of many of the studies carried out in recent years will probably be confirmed, in which it is stated that telework brings greater productivity to companies, among many other advantages.
What is telecommuting?
Teleworking is a work modality that allows remote work tasks to be carried out by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). It has its origin in the 70s, in the United States, as a consequence of the oil crisis in which it was essential to reduce costs. The unique opportunities it presented were later discovered.
Today, the percentage of employed people who telework is 5.2%, according to a study carried out by Eurostat in 2018. In the rest of Europe However, teleworking is much more common, with the highest percentages in Germany (5%), Portugal (6.1%) and France (6.6%).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Teleworking
Some of you may ask yourself then: why is there hardly any possibility of working from home? The concept is often quite ambiguous for us because we are not aware of the tools that are currently available in the market, and that we have easily at our fingertips. We can blame this delay on the lack of information or legislation on it, or its low popularity when we talk about collective agreements.
However, progress is in the mindset of entrepreneurs and managers, the only ones on whom this type of work can gain popularity. Let’s see what advantages and disadvantages teleworking can bring to companies.
What are the advantages of teleworking for companies?
Working from home can bring many benefits to both companies:
It seems logical that if we move the workplace to the home of each member of the organization, there will be less need for equipment. For example, the rent of a place to carry out the activity, the payment of water and electricity bills, furniture, the purchase of material (since each worker can work with their own tools at home), etc. So fixed costs are greatly reduced.
Talent attraction and retention
Companies have access to better candidates by being able to contract remotely . In this way, the search for employees is not limited to the closest geographical area, and we can even establish working relationships with people who speak different languages and live in different countries.
In addition, teleworking is valued by the most demanding professionals and allows us to continue counting on a good worker if it is necessary to move to another place.
Beneficial for the environment
Companies that bet on telework contribute to reducing the carbon footprint , as well as other atmospheric pollutants that cause the greenhouse effect or climate change. This is because fewer trips are made to the office, less energy is consumed, and less paper is used, among other things.
This factor is essential in increasing the level of corporate responsibility of the company, which will also cause its reputation to be higher and its company image to improve considerably.
Advantages for Employees:
It is a great incentive for the employee to be able to adapt their schedules as best suits them. In this way, the time you are working is really productive time, in which you are not thinking about other responsibilities or simply do not give up because at that moment you are tired.
Conciliation of work and family life
The flexibility we talked about earlier, along with being able to work from home, improves well-being and increases your worker’s quality of life . Thus, you can combine other of your personal obligations such as the work of the company.
Integration of employees with disabilities
Telecommuting makes it possible to hire bright but mobility-impaired employees, making it difficult or even impossible for them to move to the workplace.
Reduction of absenteeism
The employee can work from home if he suffers from an injury that makes it impossible for him to go to the workplace for a certain time. You can also adapt the schedules as best suits you.
General well-being of the worker
Having flexibility to telework leads to the possibility of reconciling the lives of employees. In short, an improvement in employee well-being and quality of life. The most important thing about this is, on the one hand, that well-being will translate into increased productivity . And on the other, that it will influence the opinion that you forge about the company and can transmit it to your acquaintances about it.
Increased productivity and performance.
All this set of satisfactory measures for the components of the organization leads to an increase in performance and productivity, which will drive sales and the quality of the service provided .
Solution against adverse conflicts.
The appearance of pandemics, such as that of the coronavirus, general strikes of transportation, warfare, etc. There are many reasons why one day it is necessary to allow the employee to work from home.
Thanks to teleworking, the company can ensure the safety of its workers , while continuing with business .
What are the disadvantages of working from home?
For many, working from home is not all advantages. Among the cons to launch in this new way of working, we find the following:
Difficulty maintaining corporate culture
If all employees work from home, the work environment and the diffusion of the company culture can be almost completely eliminated, so it can happen that the worker loses the connection or some engagement with the company.
Working is also a way of socializing. But if you only work from home and communication between employees is practically non-existent, they can feel alone at certain times or moments, with lack of support and even isolated.
Difficulty maintaining communication between employees and departments
Related to the previous point, employees may find it difficult to communicate with their colleagues when they are teleworking. The proximity of the office may be blurred and it may not be as easy to communicate with co-workers as when we have them in front of us.
Barriers to measure time control
Since May 12, 2019, all national companies have the obligation to make a time registration of their workers. Telecommuting is a limitation for this, since they cannot sign on entering work. Thus, companies have to adapt to new electronic methods to control the working hours of their employees.
Obstacle to advance in the company
The worker who arrives before and later leaves the office, is the worker who is most concerned with the development of the same and who works the most, and therefore will have more possibilities of promotion than others .
However, this is changing, and work is increasingly measured by goals and results , rather than by the number of hours they spend sitting. Still, there are still jobs that can be measured in this way, such as customer service positions.
Perhaps, many of these disadvantages come from the lack of experience and the lack of telecommuting tools in the cloud to solve these problems.
Which tools help implement teleworking?
Today, there are multiple tools that enhance the benefits of telecommuting and reduce and even eliminate the problems that working from home can pose.
WebRTC ( Web Real-Time Communication ), is an open source software developed by Google that allows our virtual switchboard and call center software to be used from the same browser and from any device connected to the Internet: computer, mobile, tablet, etc. .
The operation of these tools, totally from the cloud, offers, therefore, total ubiquity for workers ; These can be connected from your home computer, your mobile, the office computer, etc., interchangeably.
Therefore, employees can take these tools home at any time, without the need for any kind of installation, without buying equipment …
Likewise, this allows the company not to just hire workers from a specific geographical area, but rather to have a national and international team, which can also expand the customer market.
Telecommuting in companies
For this reason, many firms are finding in teleworking how to compete with the best companies in the sector . In this way, it is allowing them on many occasions to position themselves, gain a reputation among customers and their workers, and most importantly, increase efficiency .
Teleworking is an undeniable reality, which also shows a clear upward trend, since in recent years it has gained relevance. The highest rate of teleworking that has been recorded between the years 2007-2013, coinciding, not coincidentally, with the crisis stage, since many companies opted for this modality as a way of reducing costs.