The people at Marketing Associates are no strangers to telecommuting. We’ve been curious about how working from home works for modern businesses and if any of the myths are true, so we took time to ask Marketing Associates a few questions about this often misunderstood trend. Check out what Marketing Associates had to say.
Q: First, what does Marketing Associates specialize in?
Marketing Associates – We offer marketing services and business plans for small business and startups that are just getting on their feet, to larger businesses that need help reorganizing their structure.
Q: What do you think about employees working from home?
Marketing Associates – At Marketing Associates, we think telecommuting is an amazing innovation that cuts down on expenses for both the employee and the employer. Unfortunately, many people are quick to dismiss it because of their preconceptions.
Q: Do telecommuters work fewer hours than other employees?
Marketing Associates – We have actually found the exact opposite to be true. In our own experience at Marketing Associates, as well as several studies, we’ve found that telecommuters tend to work an extra six or more hours per week.
Q: Why do you think this is?
Marketing Associates – At Marketing Associates, we’ve found that when people work from home, their employers and colleagues may expect them to be reachable at all hours of the day—which means more time answering emails and other work tasks. When an office worker’s day ends at 6 p.m., his or her work is over, but telecommuting employees may continue to receive tasks well into the night—especially if their coworkers are still working.
Q: How does that impact the telecommuters?
Marketing Associates – From our experience at Marketing Associates, telecommuting can make it difficult to draw a distinction between home life and work life, and in many cases, the two blur completely.
Q: Are telecommuters lazier than office workers?
Marketing Associates – Absolutely not. In fact, telecommuters must be extremely disciplined, as they don’t get credit for just showing up. Instead, their work is often scrutinized more heavily than the work of other employees. Plus, telecommuters must work without reinforcement, whether positive or negative, which can sometimes be demoralizing over a long period of time.
Q: How does telecommuting affect office camaraderie?
Marketing Associates – Telecommuting can have an isolating effect on people, so when an entire team telecommutes, individuals may lose a sense of unity and feeling of connection with their colleagues. That’s why we at Marketing Associates think it’s so important for managers and team leaders to schedule conference calls or face to face meetings with their telecommuting employees to strengthen and reinforce team bonds.
Q: What are some unexpected benefits of telecommuting for Marketing Associates?
Marketing Associates – One major benefit is the amount of money that can be saved. Employees no longer have to spend money fueling up their cars for the daily drive to and from work, or buying expensive lunches every day, or spending money in vending machines. Instead, we at Marketing Associates have found that employees can prepare cheap lunches at home, and they may even be able forgo hiring a nanny or childcare service as well—provided they don’t create too many distractions for the telecommuting employee!