With the rise of new technology and mobile capabilities, many organizations are allowing their employees to work remotely from home, the air or wherever they feel most productive. Although there are several tangible financial benefits to allowing employees to work remotely, there are also many situations where organizations feel that telecommuting is something that would provide value.
Why not let employees have the freedom to work remotely?
Especially in larger organizations, allowing employees to work remotely poses a number of challenges. First, if the company is one that fosters a community of in-person collaboration, having employees who are remote may restrict the benefits of authentic face-to-face communication. Secondly, it can be more challenging to manage employees who are remote. Why? As a manager, your ability to monitor your employees’ work is limited to phone calls and e-mails. Holding employees accountable may not be as easy if you can’t call them into your office.
While it may be nice to allow employees to work remotely, there are some benefits to prohibiting your people from working in other locations besides the office.
Below are a few advantages to not allowing your employees to work remotely:
Ease of Collaboration
When people are able to interact face-to-face, collaboration is much easier. Although virtual meeting technology makes it easy to hold meetings remotely, the ability to read a person’s body language while in the same room creates a deeper connection and allows for an enhanced level of communication. Also, if everyone is in the office, connecting with a co-worker or employee or holding an impromptu meeting is much easier. The risk of communication being broken down through a poor phone or internet connection is greatly reduced.
Reduced Security and IT Issues
In most cases, an organization’s internal network is more secure than a public or wireless connection at home. If you do not allow your employees to work remotely, you will be able to greatly decrease the chance of viruses or malware contaminating the network. In addition, IT issues are much more easily solved in the office when a member of the IT staff is available to come and physically assist an employee as opposed to over the phone.
Of course, having everyone in the office is more convenient for a variety of reasons. First, in terms of scheduling meetings, you always know where everyone will be so you will be able to schedule time accordingly. Secondly, it is much easier to walk across a cubicle aisle or down the hall to visit with a fellow employee as opposed to trying to call them on the phone, hoping that they will be available to talk.
Working remotely is a great benefit, but working in the office has just as many, if not more benefits!