Telecommuting is an arrangement that allows employees to work away from the workplace by using telecommunication tools such as chats, email, and video apps. The act of homeworking allows workers not to be involved in driving to and from the workplace. Therefore, working away from the office has significant impacts on environmental conservation, operation cost for information technology (IT), green computing, and a change in lifestyle for the commuters.
Working outside the workplace has an impact on the environment, manifested in different ways. First, the workers avoid commuting to work, which saves the cost of transportation and lowers the number of greenhouse gasses produced by the used transport. Telecommuting can reduce thousands of vehicles from transporting people on roads (Shabanpour et al. 569). The reduced energy and gasoline usage lower air and water pollution and paper and plastic waste as employees work from home. They use less paper where there is less copying, printing, paper filing, label marking, and faxing. Outworking affects the lifestyle of the employee both positively and negatively. The employee gathers better work-life balance, which improves their well-being. Working at home saves the time spent traveling to work and enabled the employee to focus on the task with lesser distraction.
Working from home gives employees extra time to do other things that are not work-related, hence improving the quality of life. Working away from the workplace allows employees to enjoy flexible working hours such as evenings and weekends. In addition, parents are given more time to spend with their children and take care of them. Transport cost is reduced for the employee, hence saving more money. Reducing traveling arrangements is an advantage to disabled workers as it eases their burden of commuting to work (Shabanpour et al. 569). In homes, there are disadvantages, such as distractions from TVs, kids, and pets. In addition, there is less face-to-face communication where the employee may feel disconnected, have low motivation, lack teamwork, become extroverted, and drain energy, resulting in unmotivated and unproductive teams.
Employers need to be ready for any disaster, such as storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes. These disasters can affect the normal functioning of a business or organization and make it impossible for workers to access the workplace. The best way to deal with this is by implementing homeworking and teleworking organizational planning (Hayden et al. 2). The employer should allow the employees to use phones, laptops, and iPods to access working resources to progress with their assigned tasks during a disaster.
Advantages and Disadvantages from the Point of View of an IT Manager
The IT manager is in charge of building a system to ensure the telecommuting infrastructure’s efficient and proper working. When outworking is implemented in an organization, the managers can have challenges supervising employees due to needed adjustments. The manager can do their management job in the comfort of their home as they carry out their day-to-day activities. Not having to go to workplaces increases savings, such as the cost of technical support for employees and utilities. When working at home, there is no need to dress up to work or other related actions. Managers experience more independence when employees are working at home and can perform their functions without the pressure of reminders and unnecessary control.
How Businesses Should be Designed for Workers to Access Jobs During Disaster
In times of disasters such as earthquakes and poor weather, workers may not be able to access the working centers; hence different actions and adjustments are needed to ensure continuity of business operations. Organizations can prepare for such circumstances by having essential transportation services for those who must report to the office due to the nature of their work. There should be arrangements for those who can work elsewhere by looking for another worksite as well as telecommunication alternatives. There should be a checklist on how to ensure telecommuting can be effective during a disaster by establishing a method to communicate to employees and run different operations with all the required equipment (Belzunegui-Eraso 5). Not operating from the office can result in security challenges where remote access may result in creating holes in the security walls and cause isolation. A company should have a plan that can be followed to ensure telecommuting practices work well when needed.
Examining the Effect of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) on the IT Infrastructure
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is good for many businesses, but there are several risks, especially when managing business data for the company. Bringing personal devices can have security risks, legal consequences, and more IT works (Doargajudhur et al. 519). Employees who use personal devices could bring viruses and malware into a company’s computer system, which could be dangerous. Their private information could be stolen, which could lead to lost data. For example, if an employee loses their phone, the employer’s data could be stolen, which would require hiring more IT people to keep an eye on personal devices. Employers need to consider legal issues like getting all of their data from a departing or fired employee and data from the employee’s own devices.
To sum up, telecommuting is a great advantage to the environment as it reduces the number of commuters on the roads, which recreates greenhouse effects and emissions. Homeworking allows employees and employers to work more independently, increasing productivity and saving money. It saves energy because employees do not have to drive to work every day. Employees may not be able to get into the building in the event of natural disasters, like hurricanes or storms, which could keep them from getting in. BYOD is good for businesses, but it has several legal and security issues.
Belzunegui-Eraso, Angel, and Amaya Erro-Garcés. “Teleworking in the Context of the Covid-19 Crisis.” Sustainability 12.9, 2020: 3662.
Doargajudhur, Melina Seedoyal, and Peter Dell. “The Effect of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Adoption on Work Performance and Motivation.” Journal of Computer Information Systems 60.6, 2020: 518-529.
Hayden, Nancy Kay, et al. Telecommuting Best Practices. No. SAND2020-5530R. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States), 2020.
Shabanpour, Ramin, et al. “Analysis of Telecommuting Behavior and Impacts on Travel Demand and the Environment.” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment 62, 2018: 563-576.