Due to the influence of the new coronavirus infection, the movement to encourage the introduction of telecommuting has increased throughout the world. On the other hand, the reality is that there are still many companies that have not taken the initiative to introduce telecommuting. Therefore, in this article, we will explain the benefits that can be enjoyed when actually introducing telecommuting, as well as the points and cautions that should be kept in mind.
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Advantages and disadvantages of working from home What is the definition of working from home in the first place?
Due to recent work style reforms and the effects of the new coronavirus, the number of companies that have introduced telecommuting is rapidly increasing. Once again, I will explain what working from home means, and its advantages and disadvantages.
What is telecommuting
Telecommuting is a type of telework, in which employees work from home instead of going to a designated location such as an office. Due to the promotion of work style reform and the recent situation, an increasing number of companies are adopting telecommuting. Then, what is the difference from telework?
Difference from telework
Telework is a coined word that combines “tele” and “work”, but simply put, it is a way of working that uses the Internet, etc., and is not bound by place or time. There are multiple names for telework depending on where you work.
Working while traveling, such as on a train or airplane, or at a cafe, etc. ・Also known as remote work
Work at satellite offices, coworking spaces, etc.
A coined word that combines work and vacation (vacation).
I think that each company or organization has its own way of working depending on the work content and division of roles, but please know that there is such a way of working and use it as a hint to find the best way.
7 benefits of introducing telecommuting
Due to the influence of the new coronavirus, it is increasingly recommended to work from home to reduce the number of people gathering, such as commuting. We will focus on seven points from the two perspectives of the employee side and the company side to explain what benefits can be enjoyed when telecommuting is actually introduced.
First of all, I will talk about three benefits that employees who are working side can receive .
No restrictions on work location
Working from home eliminates the need to commute to a fixed location. As a result, the saved commuting time can be used meaningfully for other things, and depending on the region, there is a tendency for life satisfaction to increase because it is freed from crowded trains and traffic jams during commuting rush hours. In addition, there is no need to choose a job based on the place of work, so the range of companies to choose from when looking for a job or changing jobs will be greatly expanded. Even if you need to move due to your spouse’s work, you may be able to continue working without quitting, which may lead to building a career.
Balancing work and private life
I think there are many people who are unable to leave their homes for long periods of time and cannot work because they need to deal with sudden changes in their physical condition, such as families with small children or those who need nursing care. If it is possible for those who are busy with childcare and nursing care to work from home, they will be able to work without going outside. In addition, balancing life and work leads to a fulfilling work-life balance.
Since I often work alone, it is possible to concentrate on my work because it is difficult for events such as unscheduled meetings to interrupt my work. In addition, since the “worrying about human relationships”, which is often the reason for quitting work, will be reduced, it will lead to a lower turnover rate.
Next, I will explain four benefits that companies can enjoy .
Improving corporate image
Human resources who had no choice but to change jobs or retire due to various reasons such as childcare and nursing care will be able to take the option of working again because they do not have to commute to a fixed place of work. Because it is an attractive company for those who want to balance work and life and want to work in their own way, the company’s reputation as a company that is easy for employees to work in will lead to an improvement in the company’s image.
Easy to secure excellent human resources
Amid calls for work style reform, companies that adopt telecommuting are no longer working at a fixed time or place of work, making it easier to balance work and life. There is also a possibility that it will lead to securing human resources.
lead to cost savings
If you work from home, the cost of commuting allowance will be reduced. In addition, if it is not possible for all employees to come to work every day, it will be possible to reduce office utility costs, consumables costs, desks and other fixtures. In some cases, it may be possible to significantly reduce the rent by downsizing or relocating the office.
Become a BCP measure
In Japan, where there are many natural disasters such as heavy rains and earthquakes, when something happens, it can be difficult to go to the office due to the paralysis of public transportation. However, by introducing telecommuting, it is possible to continue working from home even in the event of an emergency, so it is possible to continue business even when it is difficult to come to work. From the perspective of the business continuity plan (BCP), we can see that the benefits of introducing telecommuting are great.
6 disadvantages of working from home
Although working from home seems to have many benefits, it also has its drawbacks. I’ll let you know what the drawbacks are.
First, I will explain the three disadvantages on the employee side .
Difficult to turn on and off
The nature of working from home makes it difficult to switch on and off. Also, in the case of home, there are many temptations such as TV, so it is an environment where you can skip as much as you want. You are required to set your own time schedule from the start of work to the end, and to be thorough in self-management.
Mistakes due to lack of communication
An environment where you can concentrate on work alone can also be a disadvantage. It becomes difficult to come up with good ideas from small chats and consultations at work, and to share worries and joys on the spot. If you are working in a team, you may not be able to grasp the progress in detail and there may be a gap in progress management. In order to solve this, it is essential to create a system that compensates for the lack of communication by making full use of tools such as chat, email, phone calls, and web conferencing.
hard to get a fair evaluation
Since you are not working in the same space as your boss, you will be evaluated on your results. If the process and efforts were emphasized, the intermediate process was often evaluated, so it may be difficult to lead to career advancement in the new environment.
Below, I will explain the three disadvantages that are assumed as a company side .
High cost of system introduction
When employees work from home, it is necessary to prepare an environment similar to that of the company, so the initial introduction will be costly. Specifically, this includes the cost of setting up an environment for using the Internet, purchasing terminals and equipment such as personal computers and tablets, and the cost of enabling progress management and business reports on the Web, as well as meetings and meetings. In addition, there may be a need to introduce a system for strengthening security.
Security measures such as prevention of information leakage and virus infection will be important because the company will not be able to manage the devices collectively. It is important to ensure compliance with the rules, such as lending or letting employees use business-use equipment instead of using private equipment shared by family members for work. In addition to introducing security tools, it is also important to formulate new security rules for telework.
Complexity of attendance management
In the case of telecommuting, it is difficult to directly grasp the actual working hours, breaks, overtime, etc., so it is difficult for the company to “prevent slacking” and for employees to receive “evaluation” of the actual working hours. In order to solve the disadvantages of both, it is important to prepare an environment that allows you to grasp the actual situation using attendance management and enrollment management tools.
5 points to reduce the disadvantages of working from home and extend the advantages
We have summarized five points for introducing telecommuting while improving the disadvantages and extending the advantages.
Improving the working environment
In order to carry out work efficiently, it is essential to prepare the working space and infrastructure environment. Spaces include securing chairs and desks that make it easy to work, and maintaining an internet environment. It is also important to create a space that makes it easy to draw a line between private and private. Because you work in the space you live in, creating a space that allows you to work efficiently without losing your concentration is an important point. As for the maintenance of the infrastructure environment, it is necessary to introduce a know-how sharing tool such as an in-house wiki as a communication tool. It is important to prepare an environment where information can be shared using convenient online tools, as communication within the office, which has been taken for granted until now, is not possible.
Creating a self-management system
When you work from home, you don’t always have someone watching you, so you can skip as much as you want. While there is the advantage of being able to work freely on your own, you may end up working long hours without being able to balance your work, and it may be difficult to switch between work and private life. You will be required to set your own time schedule from the start of work to the end and to exercise thorough self-management. There is also a way to self-manage each other by sharing information about each movement, such as having a morning meeting online and sharing the schedule, submitting and sharing the daily report.
Introduction of task management tools
As important as self-management is task management. Task management is always done even when not working from home, but when working from home, there are fewer opportunities to directly remind other members. Therefore, using a task management tool is one way to make sure that you do not forget to do what you have requested. It is easier to check omissions by managing tasks in teams, not just individual tasks. Different tools have different functions, so it is best to choose the one that is easy to use.
Formulation of a personnel system for working from home
When working from home, it is necessary to firmly establish a personnel system such as “attendance management”, “evaluation standards”, and “industrial accident regulations”. Especially when working from home, where it is difficult to draw a line between work and private life, it often takes a long time to be certified as an occupational accident. Even if you hurt your back or hurt your neck or shoulders from sitting all the time, there are cases where it is not recognized as an industrial accident compared to office work. In addition, the visibility of results differs depending on the work, and it becomes difficult to evaluate the process.
Recommendations for online management and offsite meetings
Measures to prevent slacking are also important when working from home. Therefore, there is a strong tendency for the evaluation criteria to be basically evaluated based on results. Since the amount of communication is reduced when working in the office, it is also important to conduct more detailed follow-ups, such as having an online interview at the end of work. It is also recommended to take advantage of “off-site meetings,” where employees can frankly exchange opinions regardless of their position or title. By preparing a time different from the usual business report, even online, you can build a cooperative system for the whole team and lead to smooth cooperation in daily work.
Working from home has many advantages, but there are also disadvantages. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the living and working environment has changed significantly, and in the future, it will be necessary to work efficiently by taking advantage of the strengths of telecommuting. Communication is key when working from home. In particular, business know-how that was successfully shared face-to-face may not be shared, and overall business efficiency may decline. The in-house wiki is a service suitable for working from home. Let’s work comfortably by preparing the information infrastructure.