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Disadvantages of Telecommunications

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Telecommuting is an innovative work style that enables employees to work from home or other remote sites away from a corporate office. It is becoming more and more common for people to do at least some of their regular work from home instead of going into the office. Technology has made it possible for a worker to stay at home but be connected to the office by telephone, computer, modem, fax or e-mail. The practice of telecommuting has the potential to impact numerous social, economic, and environmental issues associated with conventional commuting. Although numerous benefits have been attributed to telecommuting, there are also several disadvantages such as security problems, isolation of employees, erosion of corporate culture, loss of brainstorming ability, potential damage to careers and potential legal liabilities. Listed below are these disadvantages mentioned and why they pose such problems.

The first of these problems encountered by telecommuting workers are security problems. Passwords must be updated periodically by the employee. The firm must decide what information they want the employee to have access to since the telecommuting employee is using the internet as a gateway to link into corporate systems ("Security Issues"). Corporate firewalls must be updated allowing employees access to information needed for their assignments. Software of telecommuting employees must also be compatible with the software of the company, if not; the telecommuting worker will have encryption problems.

Second is isolation. Employers have addressed this problem by enabling "partial teleworking arrangements", in which the employee spends a portion of each week (1-3 days) in the office and the remainder working from home (Brey. Association Management). This has been shown to be an effective means of addressing the problem of isolation. When someone works from home, they do not have colleagues or coworkers to share professional ideas and gossip. There is less support and camaraderie when people telecommute. In case of any computer related problems or if they were able to figure out an ongoing business problem, there is nobody to share the success with.

The third disadvantage to telecommuting is the erosion of company culture and/or departmental morale. Many businesses have certain employees who are a major positive force on the office environment and promote unity within the corporate office. If such employee enters into telecommuting programs, their absence is often deeply felt by the staff members left behind. In some cases, this departure from the company's everyday operations can even have an adverse effect on the operation's overall culture and start to breed resentment as to who that person has been given the ability to telecommute while others have not.

Fourth is losing the ability to "brainstorm" with other employees. There is nobody to share ideas with, collaborate



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