A network is a collection of computers and devices connected together. The internet is the world’s largest computer network. This rise in telecommunications and both wired and wireless networks has opened up the possibilities for telecommuting (working typically at home but tethered to the company’s office) and teleworking (working from anywhere using mobile devices and smartphones). Studies have shown that telecommuting can actually increase a company’s productivity. Teleworking, that is, working from anywhere, comes with a potential negative cost – the threat of “always working” and the parallel issue of “always being available or online.”
The two terms (teleworking and telecommuting) are often used interchangeably, although they refer to two different concepts. Here is an example:
Almost all of your UMGC instructors are teleworkers. They do not have an office, workspace, or cubicle assigned to them at UMGC headquarters in Adelphi or Largo, MD. They very rarely, if ever, actually visit the headquarters. Instead, they work for UMGC exclusively from personal workspaces (home or at their day job spaces).
On the other hand, UMGC staff and administration (with some few exceptions) do have an assigned office, workspace, or cubicle at the Adelphi or Largo locations. They do the majority of their work on site but, if allowed, will occasionally (1 or more days per week) be allowed to work from home or offsite. They are telecommuters if they take advantage of this option to work outside the formal office site.
1. Would you like to have a job for which you telecommute part of a week or telework (always from a remote site) instead of going in to the office? Why or why not?
2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages for you as the employee and for the business as the employer in having teleworking or telecommuting an accepted policy?