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Remote working: pitfalls or opportunities?


06/09/11

By Andy Elliot, Marketing Director, International Markets at Mitel

Working from home or remotely is a practice that has been rapidly growing for a number of years, with many employees wanting, or even expecting, the option of working from home and more businesses recognising the benefits of allowing their staff the freedom to work away from the office. The business benefits can be anything from better continuity planning, cost savings, productivity and motivation improvements, and even widening the net for recruitment. However, some employers still have reservations about implementing home working policies.

For remote workers, having the tools that enable them to...

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...conduct themselves effectively from wherever they may be working is just as important as the reasons for them working remotely in the first place. However, for employers, there are many other concerns that influence their decision on enabling remote working.

Potential pitfalls

One of the main barriers is still managers’ trust issues, with the concern being that employees cannot be monitored correctly and may not be working hard enough. This is a common view, although in fact the reverse is more often the case. When employees are able to work where they best feel able to achieve results, not only can productivity increase but morale also tends to improve.

That is not to say that being able to properly manage and communicate with remote workers is not important, but often the complication for employers is ensuring that homeworkers avoid working too many hours. Many homeworkers will start their day earlier than expected and continue working later than scheduled, often because they feel they need to make up for misconceptions around working at home being a ‘soft’ option.

Another common issue is employees becoming isolated when working remotely. Companies must ensure that all employees, regardless of their work location, remain part of a... continued on page two >

 

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