Telecommuting is one of those terms that, until recently, we had hardly heard of. Its use was relegated to people with a particular and autonomous job who did not have to interact too much with co-workers.
However, now it is a very familiar word to all of us, especially in the world of education.
One of its synonyms may be better known, but its meaning is more relevant than ever.
Do you want to know its meaning? Just read on.
What is telecommuting?
If we stick exclusively to the dictionary, the telecommuting definition would be
the activity of working for a company but staying at home and communicating with an office by computer and telephone.
The telecommuting meaning is familiar to you, isn’t it?
Exactly, it is an exact synonym for remote work or teleworking, which are the two most commonly used expressions for this term worldwide.
This method of working is becoming increasingly common and is based on the employee being able to do their job from a place other than their official workplace.
All this is possible thanks to technology and its tools, such as videoconferencing, shared workspaces like Slack and Trello, or the not-so-new email.
In education and human resources, telecommuting is becoming more and more common. Thus, online classes or virtual job interviews have become standard in both sectors.
It should be noted, however, that jobs requiring the physical handling of some special equipment, including vehicles, are incompatible with telecommuting, although the future will indeed hold many surprises.
Telecommuter or remote worker?
Teleworking does not mean that you can work from the mountains or watching dolphins through your window on a paradisiacal beach. It is a concept more applicable to everyday life. It is more related to workplace flexibility and is intended for those looking for more of a work-life balance.
But, what are the requirements to be considered a telecommuter or remote worker?
Very simple: when an employee teleworks more often than they physically come to the office, they can be called a telecommuter or remote worker. Either partially or completely based on their hours.
Benefits of telecommuting
The telecommuting advantages are relevant not only to employees, but also to the companies in which they work. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the main telecommuting benefits.
Telecommuting is an example of flextime
Or rather, flextime is a consequence of telecommuting.
But what is flextime?
Flextime is a variable work schedule. It is the opposite of the classic trend of working office hours (from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., for example).
With this timetable model, workers take as a reference the central period of the day, and from then on, they are flexible in their start and end times.
In this way, if workers are responsible, they can put in more hours on a day with a heavier workload but leave earlier on another day when work is scarce.
The advantages of this type of schedule also include work-life balance, allowing workers to adapt, for example, to their children’s school schedules.
In any case, working from home allows for organizing workers’ time as they wish. Generally, companies require the fulfillment of a certain number of hours or the achievement of particular objectives, but, by meeting these objectives, the scheduling decisions are made by oneself.
Allows integration and accessibility
Teleworking is a crucial opportunity to access employment for people with disabilities who would otherwise find it very difficult to travel to a workplace.
Likewise, people living in rural areas or far from big cities can now have access to many jobs thanks to the emergence of teleworking.
In both cases, the company can benefit from the contributions of highly talented and valuable people that it would otherwise not be able to have in its ranks.
Reduces company costs and absenteeism
Infrastructure and facilities expenses, as well as the fixed costs associated with on-site work (electricity, heating, air conditioning, computer equipment, etc.), are considerably reduced at the home office.
Also, it fights one of the major problems faced by employers: absenteeism.
Telecommuting greatly reduces it and improves employee’s performance, because most of these absences are related to family or bureaucratic problems that the teleworker can combine by organizing their schedules, without the need to lose the full working day.
Allows the company to access professionals from all over the world
Telecommuting offers the company the possibility of recruiting professionals of a higher level and specialization. Human resources specialists are no longer limited to the search for workers available in their geographical area (or close).
Business goals are met to a greater extent
With this model, rather than requiring the dedication of a certain number of hours, most companies establish work by objectives.
This generally leads to a significant increase in performance. Management by objectives is a more rational work model, allowing more focus on core tasks and reducing the most trivial functions to a minimum.
How to evaluate remote employees?
Once you know the many advantages of telecommuting, consider designing a new workflow in your company based on remote projects. You may already have such a workflow but want to improve it.
In either case, we recommend that you evaluate the effectiveness of these workflows to see opportunities for improvement. You can get there by effectively evaluating your remote workers.
All you need is a learning platform (also known as LMS) such as Moodle or Blackboard and a proctoring system that allows you to get a performance review and ensure that your employees are trained and evaluated securely.
SMOWL proctoring products can help you in this task by offering more flexibility to your employees and ensuring the integrity of your tests.
In addition, our tools integrate seamlessly through a plug-in in the mentioned above LMS platforms. Do you want to try how it works? Contact us, and we will give you access to a free demo so you won’t have any doubts.
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