Telecommuting technology began as a link between satellite or branch offices and the computer mainframe of companies in the early 1970s. Over the years it expanded to meet the demands of flexi-time or work-at-home jobs that did not require the worker to report or travel to the office on a daily basis. Today, the growth of telecommuting technology has improved so much so that people are hired on the basis of output and not physical presence.
As a result of this kind of job scenario, output and work satisfaction ratings increased tremendously because it allowed for people to work in a setting they are most comfortable with. With telecommuting, the equipment needed are a computer, phone, and an internet connection.
There are now many options in telecommuting technology that allows for group meetings, known as video conferencing or conference calling. It is also possible to maintain a virtual private network similar to what you would have in a social networking application.
With long distance tools like Voice Over IP (VOIP) and groupware, a company saves a huge amount with a decrease in travel to different branches. Resource sharing, as well as client server computing makes it easier to decentralize operations so that the clients’ needs are met instantly.
Before telecommuting technology existed, it took days or even weeks before you could get a response regarding a complaint from a customer. It was an immense loss of income because of poor communications between branches to head office, and between customer to corporate offices.
Now, a client can get an answer in as quick as a few minutes because of the convenience of an excellent customer service process that allows cloud computing. Cloud computing is a relatively new term that refers to the sharing of programs and applications using the internet. This means that work-at-home or remote workers do not have to buy their own software. All they need to do is log in to their account. This explains why you now have customer service operators who do not need to work in a formal office setting. They simply sign in and sign out from their homes.
You may have seen people busy on their laptops in coffee shops and libraries. These are the telecommuters who are enjoying the convenience of working on flexi time, and being able to do other things during the day instead of being stuck in an office. Of course, the output should be the same as if they were in the office, or they lose their jobs.
The advantages of this kind of scenario are multiple. There is less stress for the telecommuters because they don’t have to deal with traffic or spending a lot on gas and car maintenance. They are able to become more productive with their time and accomplish more because of the decrease in pressure. They also spend less on clothes, food, and socializing after office hours.
On the part of the company, they save on overhead, yet they can operate 24/7. This means that their bottom line, which is their profit margin, improves and allows them to hire more people. They don’t have to deal with absenteeism, low employee morale, low turnover, destructive office back room talk, and even opens the door for them to hire people with disabilities.
Telecommuting technology is changing the way we do our work, and as end users, spoils us for an instant response from the companies we do business with.