For my current work, I telecommute from home using a virtual private network (VPN) using assigned work machines. Telecommuting has its advantages and challenges. The obvious advantages of telecommuting are not having to drive to and from work each day, in addition to, dressing casually while working from home. Other advantages of telecommuting include preparing and having lunch at home and taking care of personal tasks during the day such as checking the mail, washing laundry in the background, and removing any distractions that may take place if I worked in an office. Overall, telecommuting is a positive experience for me for being productive when working at home.
However, challenges do exist when telecommuting from home. A first challenge is communication with my colleagues on my team and throughout the organization. Because I work from at home, my communication with other colleagues is either digitially via email or instant messaging, or over the phone. Face to face communication is not available unless I travel to the local office. This challenge leads to a lack of visual viewing of others' expressions when communicating, especially if feedback from another is required.
Lack of Social Interaction
Another challenge, which accompanies the communication challenge, is the lack of social interaction with my other colleagues. A lack of social interaction can be challenging when working home by oneself day after day throughout the year. At times, I make it a point to go out and interact with others, non-colleagues, during the day so that social interaction may occur. This type of challenge will continue to exist as long as I telecommute.
Due to the geographical distribution of my work, different time zones create an interesting challenge. Colleagues tend to be located in different states and even different countries. Therefore, one must be aware of others' current time when creating an appointment or calling them on the phone. I make it point to look up others' location and time zone before engaging with them in real time.
Offsite from Office Building
The last challenge experienced by this author is the offsite location away from the office building. If I experience hardware issues, I must then drive to the office and try to resolve my issue with the support staff located there. Moreover, if a delivery is shipped to the office, this author must drive to the office to pick up the delivery. Similarly, if this author must ship something, this author must drive again to the office location.