Kaifi (2014) defines “telecommuting” as an arrangement whereby employees in a given organization are allowed to operate their working environments. The employees can work from a library, home, or coffee shops. Workers will only be required to visit their workplaces when there are meetings. The internet has made telecommuting a reality because workers can share data and information with their respective firms. This discussion analyzes the issues surrounding telecommuting and how it impacts human resource processes.
Pros and Cons of Telecommuting from a Human Resource (HR) Perspective
Human resource (HR) is a meaningful practice aimed at managing human capital in an organization (Richard, 2012). The ultimate goal of HRM is to maximize the performance of more employees in an organization. The concept of telecommuting has therefore gained popularity within the realm of organizational human resources. The process has been observed to present a number of benefits. To begin with, the targeted employee will be allowed to work from where he or she wants. This means that the individual will be able to strike a balance between his personal goals and work (Kaifi, 2014). The HR professional will find this benefit meaningful because it promotes work-life balance and motivation. The contented employee will eventually promote organizational performance.
The HR department will embrace the idea of telecommuting because it minimizes distractions and conflicts that arise from social interactions at the workplace. When social contact is minimized, the chances are high that the targeted employees will become more empowered and productive (Kaifi, 2014). A company that promotes the concept will record minimal employee support. The resources required by the workers will decrease significantly. The approach will definitely result in increased efficiency.
The process is associated with positive employee relationships. Dahlstrom (2013) indicates that telecommuting encourages workers to communicate using different social media networks. Fortunately, physical contact reduces, thereby minimizing cases of harassment, assault, and disrespect. These attributes, therefore, explain why telecommuting is being embraced by many HR professionals and companies.
On the other hand, the practice has been characterized by a number of drawbacks. The first one is that the employees working alone may not be motivated. This is the case because they are not accompanied by their workmates. The HR manager will have to work hard in an attempt to ensure every single employee is guided or empowered (Kaifi, 2014). The employee might also become distracted when working at home or in a coffee shop. The HR professional will confine the workers in a single workplace in order to guide them more efficiently.
The issue of isolation is associated with telecommuting. The employees will be unable to form cohesive teams or motivate one another. The absence of other workers makes it impossible for the HR department to promote the level of diversity. The employee might be unable to acquire or develop new interpersonal or interprofessional skills (Richard, 2012). The HR manager will be required to identify adequate measures to support the emerging needs of the targeted workers.
The employee at home might not be able to support the mission or objective of the targeted company. The HR professional will be against the idea of telecommuting because it makes it impossible to align the workers with the targeted organizational goals (Dahlstrom, 2013). Companies embracing the concept will be associated with poor employee relationships, reduced levels of motivation, and inadequate conflict resolution strategies.
Added Value of Telecommuting When Recruiting New Talent
Firms that want to reap the benefits of telecommuting should begin by implementing the most appropriate strategies. Whenever recruiting new talent, companies should focus on the dexterities of the targeted individuals. The candidates should be technologically-savvy in order to be part of the telecommuting process (Kaifi, 2014). It will also be necessary for the company to equip the individuals with appropriate skills in order to drive business performance.
Since many young people are technologically-savvy, companies should offer adequate telecommuting options in order to promote the recruitment process. These individuals have been observed to embrace better work-life balances and healthy practices. The employees will become more productive when they are allowed to work remotely (Kaifi, 2014). These value additions should be considered in order to ensure the right people are hired and supported.
How Telecommuting Impacts an Organization’s Overall Image
Telecommuting is a powerful approach that can have both positive and negative implications on an organization. Companies associated with telecommuting tend to attract many young people. This is the case because the organization is believed to have the best working environment. The company achieves its goals much faster. Many stakeholders will admire and support the firm’s business model. The company will also be characterized by “appropriate employee empowerment initiatives” (Kaifi, 2014, p. 106). More often than not, companies that embrace the power of telecommuting are embraced by many workers. That being the case, firms should identify the best strategies in order to make telecommuting part of their business models.
However, companies that implement the telecommuting process inappropriately will be characterized by unhappy employees and stakeholders. The organizational goals will be affected and eventually reduce profitability (Dahlstrom, 2013). It will be necessary for companies to manage their telecommuting employees in order to safeguard their respective images.
Training for Effective Telecommuting
Evidence indicates clearly that telecommuting is a powerful practice capable of making a significant difference in an organization. Companies should implement powerful training programs in order to ensure the process is beneficial. The first suggestion is ensuring the employees are trained in order to use modern technologies effectively. They should also be guided in order to use time efficiently. Specific malpractices such as the use of social media networks should be addressed (Dahlstrom, 2013). HR managers should be equipped with the right skills in order to manage the targeted employees adequately.
Employees should be empowered to manage time effectively, understand how to focus on the organization’s business goals, and re-pattern their work-life balances. This training will make it easier for the employees to develop powerful telecommuting philosophies. The approach will ensure every worker allocates enough time and effort to the organization’s goals. Workers should be guided to interact with their colleagues effectively via social media networks (Dahlstrom, 2013). Individuals should be empowered to deal with their conflicts in a timely manner. These ideas will definitely promote the process of telecommuting and maximize the targeted goals.
Companies that want to embrace the idea of telecommuting should be aware of the above cons and pros. This knowledge will ensure the right strategies are put in place in order to address the emerging issues associated with telecommuting. Richard (2012) also asserts that telecommuting is a process that continues to gain much attention across the world. Adequate training programs will empower and guide more employees to telecommute effectively. Consequently, the employees and firms will realize the targeted goals much faster.
Dahlstrom, T. (2013). Telecommuting and leadership style. Public Personnel Management, 42(3), 20-29. Web.
Kaifi, A. (2014). A millennial in IT management: A conversation with Michael Sabado. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 19(1), 102-109. Web.
Richard, Y. (2012). Telecommuting: Implementation for success. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(15), 20-29. Web.