Managing the New and Improved Virtual Office July 1st, 2013
Telecommuting for the majority of the work week is becoming one of the most popular trends for employees in today’s business world. This way of working is also one of the most hands-off management styles. Whether working from their homes, cafes, or libraries, employees are finding much more satisfaction in their lives. Not only does telecommuting save money with gas and ware and tare on vehicles, but it also allots more time for work, instead of dealing with treacherous commutes filled with traffic, poor drivers, and accidents. A flexible work environment is crucial in counterbalancing stress in today’s world.
The Millennials/Generation Y Workers and Telecommuting: Going Green This generation, the youngest currently in the workforce, is a completely different group that will bring about great change and will transform the workplace. This generation of instant gratifiers is a technology breathing force that will join other generations in the workforce, who are also demanding flexible work opportunities. This cohort is a frontrunner in the “Going Green” movement, which is adopting and developing technologies intended to conserve energy.
This movement ideally reduces carbon footprints, which can be caused by many variables-commuting included. Driving to and from work everyday can be both exhausting for the person working and also harmful to the planet. According to Payscale.com, the average one-way commute time for major cities is as follows: New York, New York-43.4 minutes, Chicago, Illionois-35.7 minutes, Atlanta, Georgia-29.9 minutes, Seattle, Washington-26.4 minutes, and San Francisco, California- 33.8 minutes. This average is fairly large, as many people will spend approximately 60 minutes or more per day traveling to and from work.
Not only do long commutes take time away from other activities, but they also pollute the environment. Although many people utilize forms of public transportation, the majority of people drive their own vehicles. The green technologies that are associated with telecommuting like cloud computing and the increased use of web conferencing, have brought the workplace to a new and even more competitive level.Hiring the “Virtual Worker”
Telecommuters will change the ways of the labor market and employers will no longer need to worry about hiring within their individual city, as they will be able to pick from a diverse pool of candidates all around the world. Relocation will virtually never be an issue. Although this is the case, candidates will find the job search much more competitive because they will be facing a much larger pool of qualified applicants. The convenience of a 30-second commute and working from a home office overwhelmingly outweighs the struggles of driving long distances to and from the office five days a week. Most people are also able to concentrate better when they are alone and not distracted by their surroundings.
Although telecommuting is very attractive to most people because of comfort and convenience, it does have some drawbacks. Employees who work from home will have less face time with their co-workers and managers than people based in their actual offices. In many cases, people who are telecommuting can be left out of the office culture and may find themselves excluded from various meetings and conference calls. These people may also have to work harder to earn bonuses and promotions.
Overall, telecommuting is a trend that will become even more popular in the coming years. As The Wall Street Journal reported, “Teleworkers’ access to important information from their employer is just as good as that of office-based employees, because most of it is posted online. And people increasingly work by email no matter where they are located.” An environment where an employee feels most comfortable, will most likely mean they will be able to concentrate better, which in turn, will produce success and profit.
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