Telecommuting, or remote working, is basically when you work outside the traditional office space. You could hire desk space in a shared working space, use Wi-Fi hotspots such as coffee shops, or work from home.
Internet services have been steadily reducing in cost, while quality increases because of healthy competition between ISPs, and it’s only going to get better. Yay Kenya! This means that in the near future, a healthy percentage of Kenyans will have internet access.
We see quite a few remote workers at our space. They take advantage of the high speed internet, security and relaxed but productive atmosphere to get the work done.
Some organizations have specific remote positions, while in other situations, employees may request to work off site for personal reasons.
But is telecommuting for you? Here are some simple pros and cons to help get you started.
//Save Money on Leases
Think of office space like this. If you’re a small team, or a one person operation, you’re paying money for every minute of every day, and every night that you’re leasing space per month. Whether you’re present or not.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear coins falling from your pockets down the drain!
Hiring space for only the times that you need is a great way to reduce unnecessary costs on space, and associated overheads like power and internet.
You pay for only what you need, when you need it.
Employees have different issues affecting their work life. It would be a great morale booster, for instance, for young parents to be able to work from home in case of emergencies.
Some studies suggest, in fact, that people working from home are more productive than the guys they left back at the office!
//Hire the best!
If the tasks your work requires can be handled remotely, good for you! You can increase your recruitment pool, and get the person you feel best suits the job, no matter where in the world they may be. Congratulations, you’re now international! Boom!
//What Big Brother?
You’re going to have to show a lot of trust in your employees. If somebody says they’re working on something, you’ll both have to find a way to communicate your progress.
//Yeah, man, the power’s out again.
Your working relationships are at the mercy of the sometimes moody gods of tech. What do you do if one side doesn’t have power or internet?
You could set up contingencies, such as setting up alternative connections via mobile, or setting up your own deadlines so that nothing essential is being send back and forth last minute.
//We all need somebody
We’re social creatures, and some of our best relationships are formed at work.
But who is Sam? Samantha, Samuel? Samira? Sam I Am?
Communicating remotely might create a bit of a rift between co-workers, and miss out on the awesomeness of spontaneous brainstorming sessions.
With so many options available, you and your team could give it a test run, and decide how to proceed.
You could use a coffee shop, but we have free tea and coffee, and awesome internet plus cool peoples. #justSayin.