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Lawrence Auls

Is working from home more efficient

Having employees commute to the office is a sure way of guaranteeing the manager’s ability to supervise workers to make sure efficiency and efforts are up to par. But what if commuting itself limited the maximum efficiency attainable? Certainly, it would be more prudent to not only allow, but encourage people to work remotely— from home or outside of the office—instead of spending the time—not to mention money— to travel. 

With the slew of technologies available and continually engineered to support growing business needs, it no longer takes a trip to the cubicle to hand a printed report to a co-worker, nor a stroll to the water cooler to gossip. Many applications, Skype for example, allow one-on-one and group chats among users with just an invitation. Skype’s video and phone capacities enable voice and video conferences for more pressing matters that prefer a more direct method of communication. Think of the distance that can be covered when employees of the same organization can stretch their arms to cover more territory. Numerous collaborative and interactive programs allow for the creation and sharing of documents, spreadsheets, finance reports, etc., that creates a far less restricted network for the exchange of information. Skype, the most popular conversation tool is increasingly gaining business functionality. Even the oldest of companies is moving in the direction of bringing people together through the portability of messaging systems.

This chance for the taking is being naturally well received by young companies like start-ups, but some more conservative and conventional business leaders remain chary of the liberating opportunity. Businesses have seen inarguable increase in general “agility” (as Kayleigh Bateman of Computer Weekly calls it) Those that feel more comfortable with the timeless in person interaction may find it reasonable to switch over to video calls. Bateman admits “we all know you can’t always replace traditional ‘face-to-face’ interaction,” and analogously it can be admitted that live music performances offer an enhanced experience different from watching music videos. For everything else, use the computer.