Pajama Jobs: The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting
Posted by Pamela S. on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Pajama Jobs. That is the new term for telecommuting jobs. You may not want to envision your employees dealing with your clients while wearing their PJs, but unless they are talking on Skype, it shouldn’t really matter. More companies are allowing their employees to work from home. Telecommuting is cost effective and as long as you have the right employees, it can be a benefit to your company as well as the environment.
How do you keep an eye on employees when they are working remotely? You need to choose your employees carefully. Not everyone has the discipline to stay home and avoid distractions. I have been working at home for many years, whether self employed or working as an employee of a company. The beach is at the end of my street. On a beautiful day, it takes a lot of self discipline to sit at my computer. Sometimes I will take a break, but I don’t mind working until one in the morning to make up for it. If you are going to work at home, you need to be able to manage your time. Many private investigators do a large amount of their work at home, when they aren’t on the road. They conduct research or write reports when they aren’t on surveillance.
Finding the right combination of employer and employee is essential for telecommuting to work effectively. According to the Telework Research Network, “Based on the latest American Community Survey data, just over 2% of the U.S. employee workforce (2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers) considers home their primary place of work.”
The Telework Research Network has some more great statistics and advice on their website for both employers and employees who are considering telecommuting as a work option. Here are the pros and cons for both parties:
- Reduced costs: You need less office space if your employees are working at home. Many employees are willing to take a pay cut for the advantage of working from home.
- Save the environment and look good in the process: When employees don’t have to travel to work, they are reducing carbon emissions and helping to reduce rush hour traffic. This positive impact is something you can promote to show that your company cares.
- You are able to hire and keep valuable employees who would otherwise be unable to work for you, such as those who live too far away, the disabled, retired, and people who are caring for children or other dependents.
- Build stronger employee relations. Showing that you trust employees to work at home makes them feel valued, and many will work even harder for you.
- There can be security issues involved if your employee is dealing with sensitive material.
- Many people aren’t cut out for working unsupervised. They don’t have what it takes and become distracted by things at home.
- The social aspect of working together as a team is an important ingredient for many companies. If many of your employees work away from the office, it can be difficult to build that team spirit.
- Technology fails. Internet servers go down, and other issues can arise where you may not be able to reach your employee.
- If your company is providing resources and equipment and paying for services such as Internet and phone, you have to weigh the benefits of this form of employment.
- You need to vet your employees carefully. Is this person a self starter? Have they worked on their own previously? Are they trustworthy?
- There are online time trackers so that employees may document their work hours.
- While an employee may have their own equipment, providing a computer, Internet access and cell phone helps protects you. As long as this is your equipment, you have the right to access.
- If you have many employees who work remotely, hold regular get-togethers or meetings, if possible, so that your employees can feel a part of your corporate family. Obviously, this doesn’t work if your employees are spread across the country or working in a foreign country, but don’t forget about those valuable people who do your work from afar.
For more tips read the University of Michigan’s Telecommute Guide here.
- Yes, you can work in your pajamas.
- You will save money in gas or transportation costs, clothing, lunch money, and avoid the stress of traveling during rush hour.
- If you have health issues, you can still continue to be productive.
- If you have a family, you can combine parenthood and work.
- If your situation allows, you can work on your own schedule. If you are a night owl, you can work late into the night, or get up at 6A.M. and get a fresh start on the day, without having to worry about the mad rush to get out the door.
- You may be isolated and miss the interaction with your co-workers.
- You are going to be looking at the same four walls 24 hours a day.
- Out of sight is out of mind; your employer may give more work to someone who is standing in front of him or her, just because they are there.
How to Make it Work
- Before you take a telecommuting position ask yourself some serious questions. Do you mind being alone, or do you need that social interaction? Can you be self disciplined enough to put aside housework or casual visitors and all the other distractions that happen when you are home?
- It may be fun to work in your pajamas, but getting up and getting properly dressed has an effect on your mind. Get dressed. It doesn’t have to be a suit and tie, jeans and a T-shirt will do.
- Let your friends and family know that you may be at home, but you are working. One of the biggest problems I have found is that because you are home, people seem to think you have more time on your hands and that they can interrupt you anytime they like. Make it clear that you still maintain office hours.
- Have an organized, separate office space, away from the family, where you can work in peace. You won’t appear professional if you are talking to a client while children are making noise in the background, or the dog is barking .
Working from home can benefit both parties. Technology has made this possible and telecommuting is the wave of the future. Get on board now.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.