Picture your typical working day. The tenebrous early starts, the sombre footslogs to the station, the overpacked cheerless carriages, the disenchanted and generally misanthropic looks on the faces of your fellow commuters. And all of this before you even reach your place of work. Now imagine a world where none of this preliminary hardship was necessary. Where you arrived at work and it didn’t feel like you’d been run over by a bus. This seemingly hidden utopia can be affiliated to a phenomenon known simply as working from home.
Telecommuting doesn’t require any of the aforementioned trials and tribulations of getting from home to work and vice versa. Instead, you simply have to roll out of bed, switch on a laptop and you are (quite literally) in business. So why, in this so-called age of information and technology, do a vast majority of us still undergo the hassle that is the daily commute and is it really becoming obsolete, or can telecommuting be dismissed as yet another millennial fad?
The first and most obvious advantage of not working from a traditional office is the act of not commuting. Several studies have shown that the act of commuting for many individuals is the most stressful part of their day and thus can have adverse effects on both their mental and physical wellbeing. The added time constraints and travel costs associated with traditional methods of commuting are also large contributors to this same stress factor, one which is completely negated through telecommuting.
Another benefit which has become apparent for some people is the effect it has upon their ability to concentrate while working. A noisy workplace can be the ideal environment for many employees and can help in keeping them motivated and on track with their work. However, for some individuals, any ambience is bad ambience and can impact concentration levels and productivity in a more traditional work environment. These types would benefit massively from working from the comfort of their own home, where typical workplace distractions can’t affect them.
This doesn’t suit everybody though and you may find that for some people, the easement of the home provides too docile a setting, which is counterproductive for working and thus doesn’t offer the motivational and competitive atmosphere found in an office. Working in solitude can sometimes be lonely too, however what telecommuting does provide for some people is an escape from their bosses or coworkers who they may not necessarily see eye to eye with. That being said, most people would agree that working at one’s own pace is more ideal and can relieve a lot of pressure brought about by looming deadlines etc. In this case though, it is entirely down to individual preferences regarding whether you work better at home or in an office.
So for many workers, telecommuting could well be the future. With the average age of employees in the UK falling and with the rise of the millennial way of life, more emphasis is being placed upon flexibility around work. It isn’t entirely out of question that one day, commuters may be in the minority when compared to telecommuters. Many companies seem to be recognising this and have already invested heavily in telecommuting employees and have seen results.