How telecommuting can help maintain balance between work and life

Washington, Sept. 28 : A Birmingham expert has found that working from home not only lets you stay in your jammies while you work, but it can actually help in harmonizing your personal and professional life.

In early 2013, a leaked memo to employees of Yahoo showed the company had reversed their telecommuting policy citing that "speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home."

But Scott Boyar, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems and Quantitative Methods at the UAB Collat School of Business, said it is hard to make a blanket judgment.

The success of an employee working from home depends on the person, on the job and on the training the organization provides to do that role remotely, Boyar said.

Boyar asserted that an organization has a lot of responsibility when letting workers go virtual, but the employee carries a lot of it too.

Boyar insisted that a people, who are looking to telecommute, should ask themselves if it fits their personality and preference for integrating work into their family environment.

Other questions that need to be answered include - can you structure your time and stay motivated to work throughout the day and will you be able to fight the temptation to want to skip workdays altogether, Boyer explained.

If these can be answered in the affirmative, Boyar said telecommuting can be an excellent option for an employee looking to better balance the time spent working and the time spent with family.

While there can be distractions at home like kids, animals, TV and chores, there's often flexibility to transition among various roles - particularly family - if boundaries can be set with some self-discipline, Boyar insisted.

Boyar said that telecommuting benefits include reduced transportation costs and environmental impact and saving commute time.

Boyar also said that he likes the social aspect at work, but it can be hard to get things done efficiently in the office with too many interruptions.

Boyer, however, added that being away from the office can limit informal social interactions that help employees form bonds with each other, and such social ties can improve job satisfaction and be a catalyst for advancement opportunities.

--ANI (Posted on 29-09-2013)

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