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Telecommuting: why remote work is skyrocketing in popularity

Research conducted by the Trades Union Congress in London in 2016 indicated that as many as 1.5 million people are working from home, approximately a quarter of a million more than a decade ago. One can say that, in a sense, the conventional office is slowly dying. In 2012 a British Industry panel led by The Guardian and conference-call market leader Powwownow conducted a roundtable discussion to address the issue of remote employment. Concerns such as whether a telecommuter can be trusted or not were addressed and the conclusion was reached that telecommuting is to the benefit of all parties concerned and here to stay. 

Telecommuting has become an increasingly popular option for many employees in this day and age where technology reigns supreme. Individuals working from home can be classified into two categories: those who are formally employed but have standing arrangements with their employers that they will work from home and those who work for themselves from home, either running a business or freelancing over the internet, performing tasks such as completing surveys or writing blogs.

Why has telecommuting become so popular?

Many businesses have shifted to a high-digital approach which resulted in a diminished requirement for employees to be present at the office. Mere decades ago it wasn’t possible to have meetings and conferences without all participants being present in the same room. Today, thanks to tele- and video-conferencing technology, staff members can be scattered all over the world while still being able to meet. Telecommuting originated back in the 1980’s and while it was the exception rather than the rule back then, people soon started to become familiar with the countless benefits working from home offered, both to employer and employee.

Who can benefit from telecommuting?

Despite popular belief that only executives and managers are able to telecommute, employees in a variety of diverse industries are able to do so. The introduction of tech-intensive positions and new communications technologies makes working from home a widely accepted and applied tool for big corporations and small businesses alike. While the disadvantages of telecommuting for both employer and employee can’t be disregarded, the advantages are of a much greater significance.

For the employer, an increase in employee job satisfaction generally leads to an increase in productivity as well as a decreased staff turnover. Telecommuting can also lead to decreased operational costs as the need for office space is minimised. The benefits for the employee include reduced travel time and costs, increased flexibility and a decrease in stress.

The telecommuting revolution has been creeping up on the various industries for a long time and it is far from over. As more employers come to the remote-work party more and more employees will disappear from offices spaces and tackle employment from the flexible comfort of their own homes. Telecommuting is the way of the future and employers who resist the transformation may soon find themselves losing valuable employees to organisations who do embrace the concept.

Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.