Why Telecommuting Could Be the Answer to My Cookie Prayers

In Delaware, courts take a holiday on December 26.  Accordingly, most law firms are closed for the day, including ours.  And, not surprisingly, many Delaware lawyers will work anyway.  Duty calls. 

Is there a way to accomplish those important work tasks without having to sacrifice family time?  Enter telecommuting. image

Technically speaking, telecommuting is one of many flexible work initiatives.  A telecommuter works from home full-time or several days out of the work week.  Telework or telecommuting involves work that normally would have been performed from a central office setting but can now be performed at home or remote location.  Telework requires the use a computer, an internet connection, telephone, scanner, and, perhaps, a fax machine. 

Telecommuting is an employment arrangement that involves moving work to the workers instead of workers to work.

Proponents of telecommuting claim (with good support), that efficiently run programs can offer employers the following benefits:

  • Cost Savings through the reduction of overhead and fixed costs, such as rent.

  • Increased Productivity of 10-40%, due in part to the absence of typical office interruptions.

  • Improved Motivation of employees who see the program as a sign of trust and confidence.

  • Skills Retention when an employee who would otherwise leave the workplace is able to stay. Includes employees on maternity leave, whose families move out of the area, whose disability prevents them from working in the standard office set-up, or who are nearing retirement but who the employer wants to retain as long as possible.

  • Organization Flexibility is substantially improved. Teams can be created without consideration for geography or the need for travel. 

  • Flexible Staffing by reducing the number of hours worked to those with the highest demand.

  • External disruptions, such as natural disasters, inclement weather, traffic problems, and even security issues, have a lesser impact on the organization’s ability to operate at a fully functional level.

  • Enhanced Customer Service, which can be extended beyond the working day or the working week without the costs of overtime payments or the need for staff to work non-traditional business hours.

Each of these claimed benefits have at least some legitimacy.  Although telework may not be appropriate for every type of job or every type of workplace, it certainly seems to be attractive on a day like today when there’s no need to be in the office and when my mother-in-law’s cookies are guaranteed to be gone before lunch!

For more information on telecommuting or other flexible work schedules, be sure to see the Working TIme category, under Telecommuting.

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