What is Telecommuting? Pros And Cons, Challanges, Factors

The word “Telecommuting” means working in a place outside the office of the company but using the communication tools like phone, email, and other important web tools to perform the work tasks.

The person can be an employee or a freelancer. Real estate costs are rising, so companies are encouraging employees to telecommute. The company can save costs and overheads to a greater extent. The amount of office space and parking space that the company needs will be minimal.

Many factors have contributed to the success of telecommuting for the company and the employees. There are low real estate costs, low commuting costs, and a lot of time-saving.
It is also believed that telecommuting can help avoid productivity loss for the worker. Employees can even have a better work-life balance.

Many companies already have telecommuter employees on their teams. Some companies find this thing so convenient and cost-effective that they would like to make the office work completely remote.

Types of Telecommuting

Telecommuting includes three main categories, and these include the following:

Work from a remote place

Telecommuters work at a remote working place, and it may even include a coffee house or a co-work space. The employees who come under this category may have to travel to the office on certain occasions only.

When there are target meetings or special meets, the employees have to come to the office, or else they can carry out the work remotely.

Virtual or online jobs

The workers need not come to the office. The work is independent of the office, and the employees must work virtually. The companies may employ contractors, and they will keep the task force to work with them.

The employees are not supposed to visit the company, but they perform the tasks and duties for the company. These types of jobs are quite flexible. However, the workers must come to a specific area for regulatory needs.

Work from-home job

In work-from-home jobs, the employees have to work from their homes themselves. They should have an internet connection, laptop, and other important web-based tools.

The workers have to meet certain targets, and whether the employees can achieve those targets or not would be a matter of concern.

The jobs in such type of work are quite flexible. But, the employee’s concern would be whether the task was done correctly by the deadline.

Types of jobs available for this post.

  • IT jobs
  • Call center jobs
  • Customer support jobs
  • Social media manager
  • Web content writer
  • Specialist trainer
  • Personal trainer
  • Medical transcriptionist
  • Site Manager
  • Accountant
  • Virtual manager

Pros And Cons Of Telecommuting

At first, the word telecommuting brings many positive things to mind. There is cost-cutting, there are fewer overheads and better retention, etc. But just like every coin has two sides, there are some cons too, which you must understand.

First, let us look into the positive side of telecommuting.

For an employee, there is better flexibility and hence low stress. It provides a way for better work and life balance. For employers, there is a cost-benefit. They need less office and parking space.

Employees can maintain their routines well because there is no need to travel, so they can save much of their time.

Since they save time, they can enhance their performance too. Employers can set targets for the employees and communicate with them via virtual means. This can bring in better relations between the employee and the employer.

Also, understand the negative side of telecommuting

Just like there are positives, there are some cons too. On the flip side, you will see that the employees may become sedentary, which can also impact their health. Due to lonesome work, the employee may sometimes lose motivation to work.

For employers, understanding the employee’s nature and talent would be tough, and hence the workflow that comes to the worker will be generic and not special.

Factors To Consider Before Applying For Telecommuting Jobs

While searching for a job, you may have a question about whether you want to get ahead with a normal on-office job or a remote job. Some people feel that telecommuting jobs are more comfortable, but they need to consider a few factors. Read on to get an idea:

In remote work, you might get lonely.

People who take up remote work or telecommuting might get lonely. Those with mindsets of working only at the office with people around may find it hard to digest such a culture.

If that happens, you have to alter your mindset and should shift to working at the coffee house or a restaurant at times. But still, you should accept yourself as a lone worker.

Telecommuting may make communication a bit challenging.

Before you apply for a telecommuting job, you must understand the challenges that a person may face during communication in the office atmosphere.

It is often easy to blend into the culture, and if there are any issues with the projects, one can go and discuss the same with the boss or a co-worker. But in telecommuting, there will be challenges in starting effective communication.

While working, you may have to keep in mind multiple time zones.

Many jobs that offer telecommuting would want you to work for different global; clients. Thus, you should be ready to work in different time zones too.

Sometimes, you may not even get your country’s national and festive holidays. Also, while working for global clients, you may have to work in strange time zones.

You will get your paycheck in other currencies.

.If you are ready to take up telecommuting work, you should also be ready to get a paycheck in other currencies.

Even though this might look quite attractive, keeping the exchange rates in mind, you may face withdrawal costs and hidden charges.

There is no one to lead you or motivate you.

There’s one thing that a telecommuter has to bear while doing the tasks: no one to lead or motivate.

The telecommuter should find a source of motivation in himself. When you have no one to follow, you may lose your way. But try some motivational techniques that will help you get ahead.

Setting up a remote workplace may become an expensive affair.

If your employer has told you to set up the workspace or a remote office, you should ask them about the budget and other things. You may spend a lot if you merely get excited and start making the workplace.

Get permission from the boss or ask them what payments they will make in favor of the telecommuter office.

Even though telecommuting seems to be an exciting and easiest option for working, the employee will face many challenges. It is, therefore, important to consider the pros and cons first. The telecommuter should decide only after considering all the factors in detail.

Challenges Of Telecommuting

When a person selects to telecommute, some practical challenges will come along the way. Discussing them here will provide an outcome to outsmart those challenges.

Improper formation of policies

If telecommuting work policies are not maintained properly, there will also be problems in managing the telecommuting staff.

There should be proper policy sets so that the employees know what is to be done and the employers know how their work is being done.

Improper flow of communication

The most difficult challenge a telecommuting job will face is improper communication. There should ideally be two-way communication so that the employers and the telecommuters successfully meet the goals and results.

Lack of communication can result from technical issues or fear of sensitive data leaks.

Poor employee routine

Telecommuting jobs would make the telecommuter feel that they are in that home setup, so they can take a bath, eat, or sleep later.

When work-life balance is not maintained properly, a poor routine will affect health.

Lack of team spirit

In telecommuting jobs, there’s no team; hence, there is a lack of team spirit, which can lead to motivational issues. Due to this, there will sometimes be a loss of focus too.


For telecommuters, there will often be many distractions which can lead to low performance levels. These can be any kind of distraction: family, kids, television, noise around, etc.

Best Practices That A Telecommuter Can Follow To Perform Better

Enhancing performance as a telecommuter will include maintaining clarity about work and targets. Even though the training period is over, the telecommuter should discuss any doubts.

When there is good clarity about the nature of work, the performance will automatically show.

  • When telework starts, the employees should understand what is expected from them. They should make the deadlines accordingly and plan things in that way.

  • Planning is the key factor. If things are planned well, then every project will turn out to be a success. The company should ensure that every telecommuter has the best communication tools so that the company can get in touch with the employees.

  • The telecommuter should report the technical problems, if any, to the company as and when needed. Never shunning away from communication is another important practice that a telecommuter should understand. Only when the communication lines are open will there be a better understanding of work and work patterns.

  • Setting goals and achieving them the same as per the said deadline will provide the telecommuter with a sense of confidence. Even though small goals are set, fulfilling them will offer a great mindset.

How To Manage Telecommuters Or Remote Employees?

For those who are managing a team of remote workers, there will be many challenges on the way. But it is important to fight off the hurdles through technical smartness and the best employee management strategies. Read on and get an idea about how to manage telecommuting employees.

Setting clear work and productivity standards.

The most important thing the employer should do to get results is to set proper work standards and goals. Time and again, there should be productivity checks too. The standards should em well formed, well-formatted, and well-documented.

Provision of the right tools

Rather than depending on the employee’s communication setup and tools, the employer should mention the tools for telecommuting in the workplace, meetings, and other important interactions.

There should be a proper internet connection and mention of video-conferencing tools or meetings. The employer should see that the work should start only after the infrastructure has been set up as per the need and protocols.

Setting up days for team meetings.

Even though not many things will happen at a meeting, setting up a few specific days for meetings will make the employees feel that they are working for the employers.

At least this will help them to stay motivated and enhance their productivity. There should be team-building activities online and also rewarding for goal fulfillment.

Creating motivational videos or slides and sending them once a week

The employer should send motivational messages and videos to employees once or twice weekly to keep their morale high.

These should have topics like work-life balance, time management ideas, etc.

Review the company’s telecommuting policies from time to time

If your company has many remote employees, then the employer should check the policies periodically to see if any specific updates are needed.

With time, there should be changes in tools, communication methods, and many other things. Reviewing can help in updating.

Both employers and employees should remain agile.

To achieve success, both employers and employees have to be vigilant. There should be proper two-way communication that can help establish a rewarding relationship.


Telecommuting can have pros, cons, challenges, and many other nuances. It matters the most how the employers and the telecommuters handle things. Ultimately, the company should think as a team, and there have to be exercises that help in making the team strong.

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