22 Telecommuting Pros And Cons (for 2022)

Do you understand the telecommuting pros and cons? In this post I will take a look at what happens when you have your desk in a home office. With more and more people and companies opting for telecommuting solutions, it’s important to understand the benefits and the disadvantages.

Telecommuting pros

From financial savings to better health, there are tons of benefits to telecommuting for both employers and employees.

Employers enjoy reduced costs

Employers that develop a remote workforce can look forward to a healthier balance sheet. Working from home saves money because it means fewer overheads for employers.

A home worker isn’t using the employer’s electricity or their other resources for example. Usually, office workstations and equipment are kept to a minimum. All in all, there are many cost savings that come with remote working. So it can be a huge win for employers.

Employees enjoy fewer office distractions

One of the key telecommuting advantages is that it is easier for people who work from a home office to concentrate on their work. Many people mistakenly believe that office spaces are quieter than employees’ homes. This is not true.

There’s always something going on in the office work environment, whether it be the office buddy who offers to go out for coffee or the constant noise from the phones.

And don’t get me started on open plan offices.

Telecommuting pros and cons: Fewer sick days are a clear ‘pro’

Employees who work from a remote location have fewer sick days. While they may not live like hermits, they will naturally see fewer people and therefore be less exposed to germs. With less time in front of germs they will be healthier and more productive. Most importantly, they will not be calling in sick.

According to a survey by Indeed, 50% of employers that allowed for remote work found that absenteeism was reduced by 50%.

Remote working reduces your carbon footprint

One of the benefits of telecommuting is that remote work does reduce your carbon footprint. It has a number of environmental benefits. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption, air pollution, and paper and plastic waste, it promotes energy efficiency.

Moreover, these benefits accumulate over time. A 100-person company that works remotely for one day a week would save 100 times more greenhouse gas emissions than if just a single person did the same.

Telecommuting pros and cons: Personal freedom

Workers who work remotely appreciate their freedom. Their daily schedules can be arranged to suit both their work and home lives as long as they follow the set hours (and avoid Netflix).

Also, not having to fit in with other team members is a positive effect. Employees are more satisfied when an employer allows them a home job with this kind of freedom.

Flexibility with time

Working remotely as part of their daily life allows employees to manage their own schedules as well as saving time on commuting.

Some people perform better in the mornings. Others work better in the evening. Providing you don’t affect your co-workers and you meet deadlines and the required number of hours, you can work when you want.

Working from anywhere

Remote work also offers employees the benefit of working from anywhere. This allows people to avoid unnecessary travel as they are not relegated to a city that doesn’t suit their tastes or standards.

Managing remote work allows spouses to retain their jobs, or at least ease the transition period, if they need to be based or assigned in a particular location. With a good internet connection, you can work anywhere in the world.

Mental health benefits

The mental health of employees can also be improved by remote working because there is less stress. Working in your own environment can also be relaxing. Motivated and productive employees produce better quality work.

No longer a minority

With the recent Covid-19 outbreak, employers have realized the benefits of remote working and the number of employees working from home has skyrocketed. Remote working isn’t associated with being lazy at home all day. As the future of work, remote workers are building a reputation.

Telecommuting pros and cons: Better work-life balance

Remote working offers a better balance. The ability to work from home gives you more time to plan both home and work tasks. Employees are thus more productive and feel more accomplished. 

Remote workers find that:

  1. Nothing is rushed or backed up in traffic
  2. There’s no need to carry files or a laptop
  3. There is no need to feel guilty about taking a break
  4. Stressful office politics are nonexistent
  5. They spend more time with their family

Your own office space

Working remotely gives you the flexibility to set up your workspace the way you want it. If you’re a little tardy at times, colleagues won’t be there to complain about you. 

The environment in which remote employees live makes them more productive. Work from home or telecommute, and you can arrange your desk wherever you like, close the door whenever you like, and listen to music if it stimulates your creativity.

Blend it in with your personal life

Having your own workspace and working remotely allows you to customize it to reflect your personality. To create an inspiring workspace, you can hang pictures of your children and animals. This is all about making your work area totally yours.

Because you spend many hours working, a space you enjoy spending time in can boost your productivity. Employees working remotely can choose a plain-looking or vibrant workspace. Whatever helps you work, basically.

Business owners benefit from more talent

Selecting remote workers gives business owners more options. An employer can hire anyone in any part of the world, depending on time zones. This increases the chances of finding people with specialized skills, reducing training costs.

Hiring remote workers also offers the advantage of not having to face relocation costs, which can amount to thousands of dollars for the company. Since millennials grew up with technology enabling remote work, they almost expect to be able to work remotely.

Job satisfaction also includes employee loyalty

Loyalty is enhanced by flexible working. This is another advantage of allowing employees to work from home. The employer and employee will trust each other if the employee works from home. Respect is built in the workplace when an employee feels their boss trusts them with the task.

If employees are happy in their job, they will not look for another position. By avoiding new hires, the company saves money and retains its expertise.

Better communication

It can be strange for employees to work remotely. The silence and lack of office chat are unfamiliar to them. But as people learn to talk to whom they need to, when they need to, without wasting time, this can also encourage better communication.

Through messenger apps and chats, colleagues can also get to know each other better and find out how they can benefit each other. Working remotely promotes collaboration as well as constant communication that is positive.

Remote working advantage: a bigger talent pool

The offer of home working may be an incentive for new employees and could encourage new talent to join a company. In fact, that company will be more competitive in the job market simply because they have offered remote working.

Telecommuting pros and cons: the cons

Telecommuting does have some aspects that aren’t necessarily ‘positives’. These need weighing up before employers and employees take the plunge.

Personal reasons

Not everyone is suited to working from home. Working in an office environment might provide a sense of routine and structure to some employees. In order to accomplish their goals and complete tasks, some employees find face-to-face guidance from their manager very beneficial. 

People with disabilities should also be considered. It may affect the support they need to do their job if they work from home. Likewise, working from home may not be compatible with people’s home life, for example if they have young children who can interrupt their working day. Some may not have enough physical space to create a dedicated working room.

Feelings of isolation

Less face time and a general lack of human interaction may mean that work from home staff feel isolated from their colleagues and the organisation as a whole. Businesses can improve communication to resolve this problem.

Staff feel more involved and part of the team by having regular team meetings and frequent check-ins via meeting software like Skype. Isolation might also be countered by informal social catch-ups and other ways to promote frequent contact. It’s vital that employers consider the social aspect of working life. A regular call from a team leader helps to keep employees feel connected.

Telecommuting pros and cons: A loss of productivity, or too much productivity

Remote working is said to increase employee productivity. Despite this, there are many temptations to distract you when working remotely. If you are home full-time you could develop problematic habits like:

  • The midday nap,
  • Netflix/gaming/tech distractions on a regular basis
  • Taking too much time to spend with family, etc.
  • Allowing the distractions of social media to eat up chunks of your day

As a result, it can prove difficult to maintain a strong work ethic for an extended period of time. Additionally, working remotely can leave you feeling isolated and unmotivated to do your best. Therefore, all of the various disadvantages mentioned above may lead to a loss in productivity when working from home.

On the other side of the coin, some employees may simply work too hard. Without the ebb and flow of professional life and office routines, they could end up overworking. Being in an office and functioning within professional relationships can provide some controls. Without these controls, it is possible to find yourself working longer hours simply because you can.

Telecommuting disadvantages: Tech costs and security issues

Sometimes, just having the right technology can be a problem. Having the flexibility of telecommuting can mean that you have to spend a large amount of money on equipment that allows you to work remotely.

Even if you work for an employer, it can be difficult to have the latest equipment paid for by them. Home offices with high-end laptops and desktops, as well as internet connections and other equipment, like printers/fax machines, can be pricey. This is not convenient for everyone.

Access to sensitive documents can also be an issue if you work over the internet. These security concerns can cause huge problems if not dealt with effectively.

So what’s the deal?

There are clearly more pros than cons here. However, it is important for employers to have certain measures in place that will ensure employees are safe and productive. Many companies now have a detailed telecommuting policy that outlines the type of work employees are expected to complete while at home.

Clear policies ensure that a remote team sticks to sensible work hours, experiences some social interaction and avoids the potential negative impacts of home working.

I’ve worked from home extensively in the past. The coronavirus crisis has placed many of us in the same position. I have found that regular contact with colleagues and clients, as well as frequent in-person meetings, help to alleviate the potential cons of telecommuting.

There are a number of telecommuting pros and cons. However, as long as interaction with other humans is possible at least once a week, the telecommuting model is positive and productive.

If you want even more support on getting things done, try Todoist. It is the simplest and quickest app you can use to manage your working day.

How To Set Up A Home Office For A Home Business

So you’ve taken the plunge and you have a perfectly viable idea for a home business. You’ve tested that idea so many times you know it works and how it works, inside and out. You’ve even sold some of your products. It all looks good and you’re raring to go. There’s only one problem.

You don’t have an office.

What most home business owners do is set up a home office. Some rent out a low-cost office and use that, but most consider the benefits of having a low overhead office in the place where they live.

So far, so good. But if you think it’s easy setting up a home office, you’d be wrong. There are many things to think about. For example, you have to be organised, and that requirement has a huge impact on the equipment you buy. You also have to make sure that you’re not working in a home office that is actually dangerous. You have to be physically comfortable and healthy or you could run the risk of a long-term serious injury.

So let’s walk through all of the important aspects of setting up that home office for your home business.

First, it’s all about the space.

You need to have a dedicated space for your home office

The very best home office set ups have to be in a dedicated space. This is not always possible, but if you can manage to find a spare room or decent-sized space for your office, you’re already setting yourself up for success.

That word ‘dedicated’ is important. While you may not choose to use barbed wire or electric fences, the set up has to be left alone by anyone else in the building. It’s going to be a professional space, used for making money, so it’s serious stuff.

If this means sectioning off a part of your bedroom (and many businesses have been started in bedrooms) then so be it. Keep it separate and private, and as professional as possible. You need to be as free from distractions as possible too. I know this is not always possible, but you still need to optimise whatever space you have so that it is viewed as a home office. Even if this is just a desk in the hallway, it’s your office. Everyone else in the building needs to know that.

The ideal solution

Ideally, you should have a room that is large enough to hold a desk and a computer and allows you to shut the door. That makes it a true ‘office’ in the traditional sense and allows you to have that dedicated space.

Many people do not have a spare room, or if they do it is for the purpose of allowing guests to stay over. If it is a guest room, you can get creative with a camp bed or futon, with your office equipment living in the space permanently. Other people use a garden shed that they convert (and hopefully fit out with heaters for the winter) or a porch area. There are many ways you can get that dedicated space, even if you cannot have the ideal.

Here’s a guy who made a floating desk for $11. He is good at DIY (I’m not), and the video should show you how you can adapt a space for what you need.

You’ll need to be pretty handy

If you’re truly desperate for space and can’t even put up a shelf without destroying a wall (like me), then this solution is best:

Job done

If you are living with other people, then bear in mind that the whole thing works both ways. You don’t need them distracting you, and they want you out of the way of the busy household while you’re working.

So yes, work hard to get that space.

You need to have a good chair for your home office

We’ve all worked in an office where someone has an amazing chair that looks like it came from the future. But a good chair is essential if you’re going to be working from a home office. It’s wise to invest in a chair that has a good spec, and can help prevent serious injury. That’s right, you could have a life-changing injury if you choose the wrong chair. And that is not a joke.

Don’t believe me? Listen to this chiropractor:

He knows what he’s talking about

You will be surprised how many people simply grab a chair from the dining room and stick that in front of the desk in their home office. Sure, it’s practical and it costs nothing, but you may as well book your appointment with the guy in the video above now. You’re going to suffer from a world of back pain and other posture-related injuries.

You don’t need to break the bank, but look for a quality office chair that has the following features:

  • Adjustable height
  • Lumbar support for your lower back
  • Arm height adjustments
  • Good arm rests
  • The ability to roll

Take the time to find a chair that has the above (or most of the above) and fits within your budget. And don’t buy it off the Internet without heading out to a store and testing it out first. Like with any chair, it has to ‘feel right’.

You need to have a good desk for your home office

Again, don’t spend a fortune on a desk. You should look far and wide for a bargain. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional.

By ‘functional’, I mean it has to satisfy the following requirements;

  • It is the right size for your home office, giving a suitable amount of space around it
  • It is tough enough to manage your own demands on a daily basis
  • It is good ergonomically. Not to get technical here, but there are a few things you need to bear in mind if you’re going to avoid those injuries

So let’s dig in.

The surface

There are generally three types of surface for a home office desk.

Laminate is a very popular choice for a home office desk. Laminate is a plastic finish laid over a core of wood. It is durable, and comes in a wide range of looks. If you’re looking to have laminate on your desk at home, choose a desk that has a thick laminate, so it is more durable over time.

However, if you are after the most durable material, you should buy a desk that is crafted from metal. These can be quite attractive, but they tend to lean towards the more ‘functional’ side as regards looks. It’s a matter of taste, but a metal desk does give you the highest level of durability.

Finally, we have wood as a surface. As you can imagine, wood or veneer does scratch quite easily. This is not a durable desk, but it is more likely to be the most attractive of choices. If your desk requirements are quite minimal, as in you’re not likely to be moving things around a lot or placing heavy objects, wood could be an option.

The ergonomics of a home office desk

Your safety is important, and the desk has an important role to play in this. Think about the following when purchasing and installing a new desk fro your home office:

  • If you are looking at a desk that has a sharp edge or two, you should consider buying a wrist pad that you can place on the edge. This will help to prevent that sharp edge impacting on your wrists. It’s a small aspect, but it can help prevent discomfort
  • Setting up your desk, make sure that the equipment and materials you use on a daily basis (diary, phone etc.) are in easy reach. This will prevent unnecessary stretching
  • Underneath the desk, there should be adequate clearance space for your legs. For most people who use a desk, around 30 inches is enough space to feel comfortable
  • When sitting at the desk, you should have around three feet of space between you and the desk so you can roll back and feel comfortable if you need to
  • The keyboard of a computer must be at the right height. To test this, your wrist should be on the same level of the top of your forearm, and your fingers should dangle slightly down to the keyboard. Most desks have a dedicated keyboard platform or adjustable legs so you can easily make sure the keyboard height is right

You need to have good lighting for your home office

The best kind of lighting you can have for a home office is an overhead light. Your main aim here is to reduce the chances of glare from the monitor you are sitting in front of. If you place a desk lamp too close to a monitor, there is every chance you will experience glare. If you need to have desk lamps, just make sure you don’t place them too close to the monitor. This means the two light sources (lamp and monitor) aren’t competing for your attention.

We are all aware of the importance of natural light when we are working. However, if there is a window directly behind the monitor you can experience monitor glare again. Sunlight can bring on that glare, and again cause problems with eyestrain and headaches. If there is a window behind or to the side of your monitor view, buy some blinds.

Ambient lighting is the lighting that the room ‘comes with’. This is the wall or ceiling mounted lighting. Your main aim here is to make sure that the ambient lighting is even. It can become uneven when you have more than one source of ambient lighting, for example, with different bulb wattage.

If you can have a dimmer switch fitted, do so. These make a huge difference and can help reduce eyestrain and help you maintain productivity as the working day goes on.

You need good monitors for your home office

The first rule when buying monitors is to make sure that you purchase units that are of a good size. This is an investment, but it makes sense to buy monitors that don’t cause you to strain your eyes.

The second rule is to absolutely avoid buying monitors that are cheap. A high quality monitor is the most important part of your home office. You will be staring at it a lot, and it has to be of the highest quality as regards display.

The top end of this is a decent monitor with a good size (around 27 inches)and a 4K HD display. Visit stores and try them out yourself. Even if you cannot afford the best you can usually find one just below top spec that will cost significantly less. Even then, we’re talking hundreds of dollars, not thousands. And it is more than worth it.

When looking at the monitor, your eyes should be at the height of around 25% from the top of the actual screen. This allows you to maintain a good posture.

Further considerations for your home office

After working in your gorgeous home office for a while you’ll realise that you need to have storage solutions. As far as I am concerned, nothing replaces a good filing cabinet. You can buy small cabinets so space doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. A filing cabinet allows you to file the really important stuff, like invoices and tax details. It’s great for organisation and you should really consider one for your home office.

I adore filing cabinets, which is why I watch videos like this:

Anyway, moving on…

You can also fit shelves and use magazine racks etc. just to add that bit of storage that you will need. It really all boils down to the size of your home office space.

Buy a headset if you’re in a family home or a place where you share with others. This prevents noise affecting others in the home and also allows you to work when videoconferencing, for example, without having distractions from outside the office space. These are inexpensive, but invaluable if you are not in a quiet, undisturbed space.

And that’s it. The shopping list looks like this:

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Monitor
  • Lighting
  • Storage

Oh, and yes, don’t forget that dedicated space. Without that you have no professional space within which to work. That means it is not a home office.

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How to be as productive as Jack Dorsey

You will most likely have read around a hundred times that it is important to model yourself on successful people if you want to be successful. It makes sense, and most of the time it isn’t hard to do. Every now and then though, you find a potential model that is just a little ‘too much’.

Jack Dorsey is the genius behind Twitter. Or the maniac behind modern mass attention deficit disorder, whatever. He’s also a scarily healthy guy. And his productivity and efficiency is huge. He’s a bit of a productivity icon.

Apparently, being one of the most famous (and most productive) social media Gods on the planet requires a lot of work behind the scenes. While I don’t (I really don’t) expect anyone else to manage all of what Dorsey does for his health, maybe one or two of the following aspects of his regime could be for you?

Or me, even?

I’m going to give it a go for a while. After each of these three (relatively easier) parts of Jack’s insane life, I’ll tell you what I’m doing to reach his level.

So here’s how he’s so productive.

Productivity secret one: meditation

“I’ve more or less kept up the practice of two hours … a day,” but “if you can just get 10 minutes, and sometimes that’s all I can find, that’s what I do.”

This is his biggie. He loves meditation. So much so that he’s travelled to other countries to meditate for ten days at a time. Last year he posted pictures on social media (sorry, Twitter) of one of his retreats. His time was spent without devices, meat, talking, books, and even eye contact. Just straight meditation.

Meditation decereases a ton of the bad stuff that happens in your life,from stress to distractedness. It also helps with focus and productivity. In other words, it helps make him Jack Dorsey.

If you can’t fit in two hours a day like Dorsey, go for the ten minutes.

I’m busy though, and to be honest, meditation has always made me a little stressed in the past. Mindfulness helps, and there are at least two apps already I’m looking at to build up mindfulness. Maybe they’ll get me started.

Also, I’m a little annnoyed at seeing all these apps for meditation that make you pay quite significant amounts for membership. Not good. And certainly not great Karma.

What I plan to do: Investigate mindfulness apps and see if they help.

Productivity secret two: he doesn’t eat (much)

“It really has increased my appreciation for food and taste because I’m deprived of it for so long during the day…”

Dorsey is talking about intermittent fasting right there. There are many different variations of this process but I like the one he seems to have used more than once.

The Dorsey version asks that you don’t eat until lunch and that you don’t eat after eight pm. So you have this window of around eight hours during which you can eat. This keeps the rest of your waking hours free of food.

This is doable. Wake up, go to work. Eat at lunch. Then have dinner and no food after eight.

The main hurdle for me would be missing breakfast. My body is conditioned to have breakfast. Other than that, if all you have to worry about is no food after eight, it’s not a tough thing to implement.

Except that’s not quite true.

Silly me, I didn’t get the full story.

On digging further, I found that Dorsey eats only once a day and he doesn’t eat all weekend.

This is something I know I can’t do. I can do the no eating outside of certain hours thing, but not eating at the weekends is something I’m not even going to entertain.

What I plan to do: The only time I will eat is between 12 pm and eight pm.

Productivity secret three: supplements

“The only supplements I take are daily multivitamin and vitamin C, a lot of vitamin C…”

Ah, supplements.

If you’re like me, there are probably a couple of tubs of multivitamins and one or two special seaweed and/or kelp supplement boxes hidden away in your kitchen cupboard.

If you’re not like me, congratulations.

In any case, I’m planning to crack open a pack and start a daily regime for a few days (if that makes sense). If I see any kind of improvment at all I’ll keep it up. However, I’m very aware that there are millions of peope out there who really think supplements are placebos in nice packagaing. We shall see.

What I plan to do: Take multivitamins every day for a week.

Next steps

I’m intrigued. Dorsey has made it clear on more than one occasion that the only reason he does the ‘weird’ health stuff is so that he can keep running his various companies well. He’s worth around £4 billion, which means he’s doing something right.

How to develop a morning routine for freelancers

As a freelancer, we face many challenges. Alongside managing finances and getting clients, one of the biggest issues is maintaining positive mental health.

One powerful way to bring real changes and safeguards for a mental health as freelancers is to ensure that we have a good start to the working day. Routines are important, and making sure that our morning start in a positive and proactive way help to ensure that each day goes well and the mental health is protected.

No tech for freelancers

Most freelancers spend the day surrounded by tech. Whether this is the screen of their monitor or the phone, it is everywhere. One of the very best things you can do as a freelancer, is to avoid your phone and have as little tech as long as possible in the morning.

There are many benefits to this. Primarily though, it will keep your mind stress-free. However, the amount of stress-free time you have is directly proportionate to the amount of time you spend with tech. one hour without Tech first thing in the morning is good stuff.

Get creative

Practice some discipline with your creativity and you will get the best results. With a video game, for example, putting aside a dedicated half an hour right in the middle of the morning will ensure you get the benefits of creative play alongside the discipline required for a successful freelance career.

The basic idea here is that you are creative, and this means allowing your brain to be a little creative as well. So playing a game of chess is a good idea, or doing some sketching is a good idea.

Breathe

Breathing exercises do not take a long time, and I have found that they produce instantaneous affects. There are a ton of breathing apps out there, but the one I recommend is one called Breathwrk. I’m not affiliated or anything, this is a genuine recommendation. It’s free, and it offers a number of different options for breathing work. For example, you can use it to practice breathing for alertness, and breathing for relaxation. Well worth investigating.

Turn your phone off

One of the most important things you can do to have a better start to the morning is to turn your phone notifications off. Yes, we know it is true that many freelancers are using phones to keep in touch with clients. But it is important to remember that if anything is really truly important as regards your client they will contact you through a telephone call. And if it is actually important, they will leave you a message.

Go big or go home on tasks

Look at your list of tasks for the day. If you focus on getting the biggest and toughest task done first, the one that will take the most time or the most effort, you will feel a real sense of achievement afterwards. Stick at it to completion if it is possible (some tasks are so huge they take days to complete), and focus on 100% application.

By getting this big task out of the way first thing, you are telling yourself subconsciously that you can do anything. The rest of the day is a walk in the park.

Six things

This one works particularly well for me. Someone famous once said that if you focus on just six truly important things in one day, that’s more than enough to be dealing with. And it’s absolutely true.

The key is making sure you know what is important. If you can find six vitally important things that need to be done, that’s your list. And having just six of them means that your mind doesn’t become frazzled and overwhelmed.