A computer is any machine that converts raw data into meaningful information. Initially designed to carry out mathematical operations at a rate much faster than humans and with greater accuracy, the computer today is the main ingredient of almost kinds of work. From running a payroll program for the employees of a small organization to the use of super computing in order to make weather predictions for a regional ‘met office’, one can find computers anywhere.
Internet, Telecommunication and the birth of ‘freelancing’
The inseparable partnership of computer with the internet has provided man with the luxury of telecommunication, whereby a person sitting at home can login to his/her organization’s Local Area Network (LAN) and accomplish the tasks the same way he/she would do from an office computer. Additionally, working from home has given birth to new task force known as ‘freelancers’. These individuals work from home, full time or part time, and contribute a major portion to a firm’s documentation processes.
The advantage for employers and employees together
Working from home has advantages for both, the employers and the employees. The jobs of the employees essentially transform from the conventional time-based type to a task based one. They are simply assigned the tasks to be done, and they receive their dues on the completion of work. Travelling troubles and fuel costs are also saved. Most importantly, the employees are able to enjoy invaluable family time. This becomes quite a blessing for mothers, who can take on office tasks and look after their respective households at the same time. On the other hand, the employers are also at an advantage as they are not entitled to providing space, heating, air-conditioning and other workplace requirements to their workers. Thus reducing on the infrastructure costs for the firm.
But the use of computer brings its own array of problems with it. One of the greatest issues for an organization with their employees working from home is divulging of confidential information. Most firms have secure internet connections and working environments safe from intruders. However, employees’ homes are not necessarily as safe and can make the company’s personal data vulnerable to theft. Moreover, there is no means of monitoring the employees. Under no supervision, the employees may become complacent and may fail to meet the required deadlines. Managers cannot call urgent meetings with the employees and the effectiveness of face to face communication is lost. In addition, the office environment is conducive to work, whereas the environment at home can be perturbed by a noisy and demanding household.
The persisting limitations of telecommunication
Indeed, the world today is increasingly welcoming the concept of working from home, but there is no doubt that this mode of working contradicts the conventional method of working from office in many ways. Employees groom and perform well in office. They get to interact with people of their discipline and learn to handle peer pressure. Also, following a set routine in the office helps build the personality of the work force. Finally, not all jobs can be accomplished by telecommunication. Technical jobs, such as engineering services will always require the employees to be available on site.