Much has been stated and written about telecommuting previously decades, and the number of individuals who work from house has increased dramatically, and can continue to increase, due to the trends outlined earlier. A telecommuter replaces his/her daily commute towards the workplace with electronic conversation, through the phone as well as Internet. While many telecommuters possess dedicated home offices that they perform work duties, some telecommuters, called nomad employees, perform work tasks from a variety of locations such as cafés, bookstores as well as libraries.
While telecommuting may be promoted by many businesses and enterprises, it can also be associated with some drawbacks, both for the employer and also the employee. To some level, these criticisms have hampered the actual implementation of telecommuting applications. But these points associated with disadvantage, in many instances, can be resolved via paperless practices with Info & Communication Technology ICT products and software. Going paperless will facilitate many facets of telecommuting, and I will address a few of these here.
Telecommuters often end up isolated, because they absence face-to-face interaction with co-workers, supervisors and clients. And this dearth associated with personal interactions with colleagues may even lead to deficiencies in loyalty toward employers as well as colleagues.
When telecommuting is performed in a paper-based style, the telecommuter still eventually ends up confined to a area, with limited mobility and complicated practices concerning the access, distribution and discussing of documents and function files. A paperless workstyle that allows total mobility of work, however, will allow workers to easier arrange and engage within personal, face-to-face interactions along with others. A paperless workstyle can deliver telecommuters in the boundaries of their office at home, and allow for the casual nomadic workstyle that brings them into contact with colleagues or just other people, instead to be isolated at their houses. A paperless office may also enable the telecommuter to occasionally make use of the employer’s leased or leased office facilities to interact inside a more direct way along with colleagues and supervisors.
To build up and maintain friendships along with colleagues and supervisors whilst telecommuting, an employee or company can ritualize routines by which co-workers engage in every day chat sessions, or possess their cyber-coffee together from specific pre-arranged times. Another bonding mechanism may be for colleagues to interact inside a more informal manner through playing stimulating games with one another through the Internet.
Among the reasons that face-to-face communication is really important is that a sizable proportion of communications taking place between several individuals is conveyed by nonverbal means for example body language, facial words and phrases, eye contact and modulation of voice. The information conveyed through these kinds of communication will obviously become compromised via a phone, or even a normal webcam.
Virtual teams, also known as Geographically Dispersed Teams (GDT), contain people who work collectively across time, space as well as organizational boundaries, through ICT. An associate of a virtual team isn’t necessarily synonymous with the teleworker, though, for a few reasons: (1) which team member may not exclusively work at home, and (2) virtual teams frequently contain employees who work both at home but also in scaled-down groups in offices from different geographic locations. Virtual teams enable employing and retainment of talent no matter location. It is apparent how paperless work methods can greatly facilitate the actual operations of dispersed, or even virtual, work teams. Simply because they rely on electronic conversation, they can greatly take advantage of paperless practices in record sharing and mobility. A good source for more information about how to enjoy the benefits of a paperless work-style may be the book by George Dimopoulos, Paperless Pleasure.
Those who introduce paperless practices within their daily work routines can enjoy many advantages. I am specifically addressing paperlessness in the telecommuting perspective in the following paragraphs that will be beneficial in the individual, organizational, corporate, social and global level.