Why telecommuting jobs will continue to grow
As the business and environmental benefits of teleworking are increasing, the organizations who now embrace the practice of telecommuting has also grown.
Content provided by Lea Green, PGi Social Media Manager
Article originally published on PGiGreenBlog.
Those of us who telecommute—as well as those who aspire to become telecommuters—may wonder if the skills and experience we gain as out-of-office employees will benefit us down the road. After all, this work practice is largely still in its infancy, relatively speaking. Will our working from home be an asset to future employers? Is it an attribute we can list on our resume that will make us stronger job candidates? Or will our telecommuting experience actually work against us among those employers who have yet to see its practical value?
During the 1990s, many factors converged that made teleworking a viable option: technological advancements, rising fuel costs, increasing operating and travel expenses, and growing concerns over environmental issues. While employees, environmental experts, and business analysts may have recognized and advocated the benefits of teleworking, many companies remained skeptical, afraid that people working from home would waste time, be less productive and difficult to manage, and require more supervision and maintenance costs than in-office workers.
Two decades later, however, attitudes and circumstances have changed, thanks to smart phones, social media, and conferencing tools like iMeet that enable remote workers to maintain a virtual face-to-face presence with coworkers, clients, and administrators. Even from home, we are accessible and “there” when we are needed. Concerns about decreased productivity have given way to the realization that a well-equipped telecommuter, who needn’t go through the daily ritual of getting ready for work and enduring the stress of the dangerous and time-consuming commute, actually has more time and a healthier mindset to devote to job tasks. While there may be distractions to contend with at home, they don’t compare to the noise of a busy office environment and the unexpected social intrusions that, by their nature, impact the productivity of more than one employee.
As the business and environmental benefits of teleworking have become more evident during the past 20 years, the number of organizations who now embrace this work practice—including government agencies—has grown significantly. According to a recent survey, a sixth of the world’s employees are now telecommuting. With our ever-growing workforce, the diminishing supply of fossil fuels, and the overburdened environment, what was once a novel idea that grew into a rising trend is now segueing into common practice.
Jobs for telecommuters—scarce just two decades ago—are beginning to flourish, according to a recent article in Workspace Design magazine. Factors such as increased security, decreased equipment costs and improved connectivity, a new attitude toward remote supervisor-employee dynamics, and a heightened awareness of corporate responsibility toward local communities and to our planet are reshaping the way America does business. Not only are they strong job candidates, telecommuters are the workforce of the future.
So polish those resumes with confidence, knowing that the skills and experience you have acquired and the home-office you have furnished and equipped are assets that can open an ever-growing number of doors in today’s business world. Not only that, dear telecommuter, you are making our world greener, one day at a time.
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