What Is Telework?

Telework (also telecommuting or remote work) is a work structure in which some or all of the work is done at a location other than the employee’s main workplace.

How Does Telecommuting Work?

Companies may decide to adopt a telecommuting (teleworking) arrangement if employees’ tasks can be performed somewhere other than the employer’s premises, namely via information technology.

Employers offering the option to telecommute must make sure that it complies with the labor laws in their country, as well as with any collective agreements in place. Teleworking may be performed on a regular or occasional basis, full-time or part-time, for some or all tasks, from the employee’s home or from any other designated location.

Locations where employees commonly work remotely include:

  • Home
  • Cafes and restaurants
  • Coworking spaces
  • Satellite offices
  • On the go, from any location with Internet access

What Are the Benefits of Telework?

Telecommuting has many benefits for both employees and companies. Examples include better work-life balance and flexibility as well as lower costs.

Benefits of teleworking for companies

Benefits of remote work for employees

  • Greater autonomy and schedule management
  • Less stress and less time spent in transportation
  • Fewer interruptions by coworkers
  • Reduced pollution and travel costs
  • Better concentration and higher productivity
  • Adapted work environment

What Are the Risks of Telecommuting?

There are some ergonomic and psychosocial risks associated with telework; employers must take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of teleworking employees.

Risks of telework for employees

  • Isolation
  • Demotivation due to lack of human contact
  • Work outside of work hours
  • Poor time management
  • Overwhelm
  • Injuries related to non-ergonomic workstations
  • External sources of distraction (family, roommates, pets)

What Jobs Lend Themselves to Telework?

Many jobs lend themselves well to telecommuting. Good examples include:

  • Graphic designers
  • Accountants
  • Developers
  • Web editors
  • Translators
  • Video editors
  • Customer service agents
  • Operational marketing agents
  • IT project managers
  • Insurance brokers

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