Telecommuting (working from home) is something that the globalized village is catching up to. In Pakistan, fewer companies were interested in having this kind of working arrangement with their employees. However, with the passage of time, a lot of new start-ups are finding it a lot more interesting idea.
I, being one of the many telecommuters in Pakistan, am writing this blog post, to advocate why Pakistani Employers who can offer telecommuting for different jobs, should consider it as an option?
My idea is not only based on personal experiences, instead, I have a business rational behind. I hope my tiny effort here would help prospective employers understand why telecommuting can be a great thing for future of the Pakistan IT Industry or even industries without jobs that can be done remotely.
Here I am narrating some of the advantages that Telecommuting can offer to employers:
Wider Talent Pool
Let us face it, as employers; you need to find people who know the job really well. If you are running a business from a place that is not rich of talents due to any reason, you may find it very difficult to hire an employee of the right calibre.
Telecommuting helps you get access to talented people all across the country or even the world, if you are willing to broaden your scope.
Cost of Operations
Our government is trying to resolve the electricity problems like the previous one. We don’t know for sure when we will get this problem resolved.
Besides, rising inflation, ever mounting electricity costs, hardware or infrastructure requirements all make it pretty difficult for starting businesses to successfully take off their ventures.
A lot of these potential costs can be avoided once the accommodation, electricity, and internet are not your headache to take care of.
Safety of Employees
The working culture is full of myths in Pakistan. Women particularly face a lot of problems when travelling to their offices, or even at work some times. Travelling alone is not the safest in public transport and you never get to the office in time (mostly). So, when you choose an employee to work from home, they can easily avoid all sorts of commuting issues.
Pay More to Telecommuting Employees
Once you are saving hefty costs on office, administration, fuel, generator, and so many other things, you have more money to spare for hiring talented people. It gives you an edge over your competitors and your employees will be definitely a lot happier that way.
You can even think of medical, car allowance or other fringe benefits from the cost savings realized.
Scalability of Business
A lot of businessmen (new ones) when think about starting a new venture do not have an exit strategy. Consider the pains an entrepreneur has to go through when they are selling their furniture at throwaway price or fixtures or computer hardware that they purchased at very high price once their business fail to become a success story.
With a telecommute model, an exit strategy is very easy to execute. Similarly, you can scale up or down your business by hiring more or less employees as per your needs.
There are no extra costs to be incurred than the salary or benefits you are offering.
Scaling the Availability of Employee
Consider a situation where you need someone expert in a particular field of work but the ones who really do their job professionally are expensive to hire. In case of telecommuting you can get them hired on part time basis for fewer hours where you could afford them and get their expertise at a scaled down cost.
How to avoid the potential “disadvantages of telecommuting” as an employer?
I know a lot of you would say it is not easy to manage employees from home, Agreed! However, you can set intelligently built mechanisms which would minimize the disadvantages.
Set deadlines for different tasks that you are assigning to employees. Clearly communicate to them importance of meeting those deadlines. You can also incentivize those deadlines in many ways possible to ensure all work has been delivered on time.
Goal Oriented Tasks
General JD is good for employees when they have so many smaller tasks to accomplish. Try to break down the tasks into smaller works and let them know about it. Many of the employers use productivity enhancement tools such as Google Docs or Drop box to share, monitor, and execute the assigned work with their telecommuting employees.
Besides individually assigned tasks, you can also ask your employees for bigger targets that need to be achieved on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.
Granular task division helps them micromanage while with bigger targets in mind, they can see a complete picture of the work expected of them over time.
What Types of Job Roles can be given to telecommuting employees?
Here are some of the examples of work that I have seen people working on as telecommuters. There are no bounds to creativity.
The trend of content writing jobs with work from home option is ever on the rise. You can easily find a lot of job opportunities with employees interested in hiring you and you will be allowed to telecommute.
Graphic designing needs a creative kick. If you have it in your guts and your employer can trust your work ethics, you can also find great freelance graphic designing opportunities online.
Yes, it may seem absurd but over the last few years a lot of Law Firms in the UK and the US have outsourced their work to India. Obviously, this is the typical desk work that does not need any physical presence in the court or at other places.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, this idea hasn’t yet completely seeped in but yes you will find some off and on opportunities for freelance website developers do appear in Pakistan.
Internet Marketers / Social Media Evangelists
SEO jobs have become one of the leading roles assigned to telecommuting employees. Similarly, you will find some good jobs on social media marketing (social networks account management and campaign handling) for telecommuting.
This trend is still in its infancy but again it is the type of trust that each industry has in its employees to fulfill the job role from home without any hiccups.
Freelance marketing is not something I have heard a lot about in Pakistan. Countries like the US, Canada, and the UK have freelance marketers for different products that they endorse or sell.
It is a novel idea and needs to be matured for markets like Pakistan but still consider the market reach for all the people living in dozens of districts of Pakistan if you are hiring freelance marketers for your products. Again, a Marketing Master Mind would be in a better position to set accountabilities.
News organizations, typically startups outside Pakistan, do hire people living in different cities where they can share travel information, pictures, personal experiences, and other sorts of things with their employers. Again, a different frame of mind but still it needs to be refined for our domestic market.
Why Telecommuting for Pakistan?
Full of Young People
The adaptability in younger generation is relatively more when compared to the previous one. Pakistan has a lot of young generation that can be contribute to the economic development of the country.
India is already thriving with many telecommuting jobs posted on a daily basis. Pakistan can also take full advantage of this changing economic perspective where more and more companies are globally switching to this model.
Availability of Internet Connection and 3G
The future of internet availability in Pakistan is very bright. In the easily 2000s, faster internet connection was not really an option. However, more and more private companies are now venturing into ISP domain.
Low cost internet connections are not a real problem anymore. And once 3G is made available, internet connectivity in Pakistan will reach new levels of usage. Telecommuting is one thing through which you can take real advantage of the Third Generation Internet Connection.
Fresh Graduates Produced
During the last decade we have seen many new private educational institutes starting up successfully with many new graduates entering the job market on regular basis. However, many of these fresh graduates find it hard to get a job in their smaller towns or cities of the country. Telecommuting enables employers to tap into this immense talent available outside bigger cities of Pakistan.
I have been associated with the writing industry and my interactions may have a narrower reach of the subject, peeping from one industry’s window of remote working model. Please share below ideas or anything of the sort to let me know if that model can be a success for future Pakistani employers.
Disclaimer: Please choose your working style for the organization you head carefully. The writer has only presented you with this idea as a possibility and he or ProPakistani.pk are not implicitly, explicitly, or any other way liable for the decisions you make about the choice of working style inside your organization.
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