3 Ugly Truths About Telecommuting

virtual work
© Kurt Holter - Fotolia.com

As someone who now works out of a home office after many years spent toiling in a number of traditional office environments, I can quickly whip off the pros and cons of both.

People who have never had the pleasure of telecommuting — as some still like to call it — don’t always understand this, but for me, it is like so many other things in life that get overhyped.

Yes, working from home can be really good, but it is also terribly isolating (no one nearby to gossip or consult with), and usually, you end up working a lot more than in a traditional environment because you never really leave the “office.”

That’s why this story last week in The Washington Post titled Businesses Beware: The Ugly Truth About Telecommuting jumped out at me, because it reduced working at home to three simple challenges that you both need to both address and watch out for:

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  • Isolation;
  • Discipline;
  • Imbalance.

Every yin must have a yang

As the story noted:

The bountiful advantages of working from home are well documented. There’s the flexible schedule, the absence of a lengthy commute, and less money spent at the pump, just to name a few.

But while the benefits of telecommuting are undeniable, every yin must have a yang. Those new to working from home should be aware of a few of the drawbacks and how to overcome the obstacles that come with this professional lifestyle.”

Although the story simplifies a lot of what goes on when you get involved in a telecommuting work environment, it cuts to the heart of the issues most people encounter when they get into it. You’ll find it’s well worth a read no matter if you telecommute, are thinking about it, or just deal with it as you manage your own workforce.

Click here for Businesses Beware: The Ugly Truth About Telecommuting.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.


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