The Concerns for the Employer
Some of the concerns that employers have about their telecommuting employees are as follows:
Lack of controls— Many employers feel that they have less effective control over employees who telecommute. Their concern is that the person might exploit the situation, putting in fewer hours or failing to complete necessary work.
Certainly, it could turn out that way. There are a couple of things that should be noted here. First, not all employees are suited to be part of a telecommuting force. A lack of commitment and discipline can kill the arrangement.
The second, however, is much more critical. The company that employs an at-home workforce must re-evaluate its method for gauging employee success. A general shift from an hourly perspective to a project perspective is necessary to make telecommuting a success. You'll find more on this in the section titled "Keys to Successful Telecommuting."
Disassociation with the team— This is another real issue for some employees. Some employees need close interaction with their peers. Without this interaction, they can become depressed and far less productive. This is something that the employer and employee must have an open discussion about.
The employer must watch for signs in the employee that indicate a negative response to the isolation of working at home. In addition, tools such as conference calls, effective e-mail, and instant messenger (IM) services can alleviate some of this.
In fact, communication in a telecommuting environment often improves because its importance is emphasized.