Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Telecommuting as a tool for productivity

The world has grown into a global village now. Thanks to computers and internet. But it’s not just our loved ones that the internet has been able to connect. It’s even the workers in organizations. Yet the benefits of this technology are not being utilized for purposes other than posting photos in Facebook. With the advent of the computer generation, change in work schedules and organizational structure has been possible. Yet at this part of the world, I don’t see these changes being adapted.

I work at an organization where one of my key works involves designing courses to be taught to school children. Now this work involves some thinking, some internet research and some book and article references. For this, I don’t need to be present at my workplace. I can do the work at home and submit the output with the click of a mouse. How much time does working from home save me? Two hours at least! These two hours is just the time for commute. There is also added time I need for rest due to the physical exhaustion I have to experience as a result of being a part of packed buses and be stuck for hours in traffic jams. Yet my workplace would consider me as working only if I am present at the workplace during office hours. What matters is that I remain within the office (even if I spend time in gossip) and not that I produce something worthwhile at my own time. Where are we heading with this mentality? Nowhere, I suppose because the focus is on whether the employees are giving their time to the organization or not for the salary they are paid each month. Zero focus is placed on productivity or output.

I know the justification for this could be the matter of trust of whether employees would honestly work from home or not. But if the work is made deadline based and result-oriented, then why does it matter at what time the employees work and at what time they choose to rest?

I believe that organizations need to trust their employees and make them more driven by focusing on results. I don’t think “The employees must give their time for the organization, even if they are idle, because we are paying them” is a positive attitude in part of organizations. Why not buy results or outputs from employees rather than their time?

There are jobs like that of administration, customer service or accounting that requires employees to remain at their work desk. That’s fine. But there are other kinds of work that may or may not require the employee to be within the periphery of the office all the time. And if social interactions are required, then what about a weekly get-together?

As an aid, why not make telecommuting a new basis of work design if the work is such that it can be performed from home? This way an organization is not just buying output but also granting the employees freedom to use their time at their will and showing trust upon their work commitments and capabilities.

0 comments to “Telecommuting as a tool for productivity”

Post a Comment




The Management Blog Copyright © 2011 -- Template created by O Pregador -- Powered by Blogger