What Is Telecommuting? - Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

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  • 0:01 Definition of Telecommuting
  • 0:28 Benefits of Telecommuting
  • 1:10 Disadvantages of Telecommuting
  • 2:00 Is Telecommuting for You?
  • 2:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley D. Manker
In today's lesson, we will discuss telecommuting. We will cover what it means to telecommute, some benefits of telecommuting, and some disadvantages of telecommuting.

Definition of Telecommuting

Telecommuting is working from a remote location outside of a traditional office. The remote location can be from home, a coffee shop, or hotel room. The Internet, faxes, phones, webcams, and instant messaging are some of the technological advances that enable this type of work arrangement. Most telecommuters work in the financial, high-tech, and communications industries.

Benefits of Telecommuting

Telecommuting opportunities are great for single-parent homes and those with physical disabilities. Today, some parents choose to stay at home with their kids instead of putting them in day care. They feel that they will bond better with their kids this way.

If you have a physical disability, you don't have to worry about whether or not a job is handicapped-accessible.

Another benefit of telecommuting is that you will not have a traffic commute. Instead of sitting in traffic, you can spend that time with your family or going to the gym to work out. If you don't have a commute, you will also save on gas. According to Noonan and Glass, in a report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, telecommuting boosts productivity, decreases absenteeism, and increases job retention.

Disadvantages of Telecommuting

A disadvantage of telecommuting is that there are many distractions that you may have to deal with. For example, if you're working from home, you could find yourself dealing with a crying child, a barking dog, or friends and family visiting or calling you when you should be working. These distractions can make it look like you were unproductive all day.

Another disadvantage is that your supervisor is not there with you. So if you're not an independent worker, you may find that you're watching TV instead of working on a report. Also, if you're a social person, you may find that the isolation from other coworkers really bothers you.

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