Telecommuting, by definition, is to work at home by the use of an electronic linkup with a central office. Just the definition itself implies many communication challenges. The statement "electronic linkup" can apply to many forms: network connection, telephonic connections (land phones and cellular phones), video teleconferencing, and so forth. One of these could present a problem or all of them at one time.
Having identified that there are numerous possible communication failures waiting to happen, what are the three most important communication challenges that a business faces when it contemplates letting its employees telecommute? I am going to take a different approach to this question than the norm. Instead of identifying individual items, I would like to explore the effects in general.
The first challenge that I have already touched on is the physical communication challenges. This is the most important challenge that a business faces. This challenge has many outside effects that can or cannot be controlled by the business or the employer.
For instance, natural acts such as thunder storms, tornadoes, and the likes can cause communication failures that could only affect telecommuters in a particular region. This is something that neither the business, nor the employer, could prevent. On the other hand, the telecommuter could not be affected when the central office was crippled by the same sort of event. So this could be a positive note for a business, say, in the Midwest during the spring with all the thunder storms and tornadoes.
Another form of physical challenge that can face a business is that of communications equipment. If a business is limited by funds for a telecommuting division, then that division will suffer immensely as its communications speed and capabilities will be substandard. In order for a telecommuting division to succeed, they must...