Telecommuting vs. Being There – Finding Balance

July 17, 2017

The world of ‘work’ is changing.

As emerging markets change and businesses work to meet this demand, many organizations are realizing that having one office is simply not enough. While businesses grow into global enterprises, many have office locations dispersed across the country, across borders and, in some cases, across oceans. This is not specific to one industry, either. Think of Royal Dutch Shell in the oil and gas industry, which has offices in the United Kingdom, the US, Africa, Europe, the Middle East as well as Canada. On a smaller scale, think about ATB or the Bank of Montreal. Even us here at Genesis Aviation have offices in Calgary and Toronto.  So, how do CEOs and high-level management stay in-touch with multiple branches effectively, and efficiently? They telecommute.

Telecommuting has been the go-to answer lately, and has become an increasingly popular method to keep up with offices and staff in other cities. Telecommuting (also known as ‘working remotely’) is when an employee works outside of the traditional office, such as at home or in a different office location other than a business’ main headquarters. These employees characteristically use a computer or laptop which is electronically linked to their place of employment, or are in communication with their managers through other methods.

According to a Gallup Survey, telecommuting for work has risen by 37% in the US. To keep up with this trend, it’s a common practise for businesses to use platforms such as Skype, Google Docs, Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce or social media platforms as effective ways for offices to work together cohesively. Telecommuting is typically cost-effective, and there is quite a bit of research which names the value-added benefits of accepting telecommuting as an every-day business practice. Remote.co provides an extensive list, but here are just a few of those:

  • Increased productivity
  • Expanded employee talent pool
  • Reduction in turnover
  • A decrease in real estate cost, and in overhead
  • Reduced attrition

While telecommuting has its perks, corporate leaders are not complacent. When it comes to managing multiple offices in a complex and competitive landscape, in-person communication is more vital than ever before. Your business is growing, and research indicates that it is high-level management’s responsibility to both guide and lead this growth and change. A 2016 article by Forbes surrounding the topic of telecommunication indicates that, “in the absence of personal contact, and the potential for isolation and confusion that implies, it’s critical that remote managers stay in frequent contact to ensure they know what’s being worked on and the progress being made”.

That said, as high-level management, how do you effectively balance telecommuting while also understanding the importance of ‘being there’ physically? This is something that requires more research; however, depending on the size of your business and the number of offices you have, research shows that you should try and make a dedicated trip to each head office once a quarter. Take a quick flight, grab lunch, meet with your team, talk about expectations and discuss how that branch of your organization is working to achieve business goals.

Of course, if you’re short on time, the flexibility, convenience and safety of taking a private air charter can make all of the difference. We’re committed to adapting our services to suit your business needs and, as the premier service provider, we guarantee an unparalleled aviation experience so that you can make finding a balance between telecommunication and ‘being present’ a priority.

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