“Call Me, Tweet Me, If You Want To Reach Me”

As a millennial I am familiar with the different forms of communication that are available just from my cellphone; texting, calling, tweeting, messaging on Facebook, snap chatting, blogging, etc. There are a million ways to communicate with others with today’s expanding technology but what impact does this have on my relationship at work? I’ll be graduating in May and will be working full-time (eek!) for the first time in my life. The idea is both terrifying and exciting and with today’s technology I have the opportunity to mold my career into anything I can dream of. Millennials everywhere are starting down their career paths at the same time as companies are beginning to incorporate even more technology into their everyday businesses. The idea of telecommuting is a newer concept that has begun to expand into the daily life of businesses. It involves the increased use of technology such as video interfacing, webcasting, increased phone calls, e-mails and so much more. Millennials have got this in the bag, we are very in-tune to this type of technology since it has basically been in our hands since we were born and we have molded our lifestyles around this use to communicate with everyone humanly possible. Although we understand it very well, we probably have just as much trouble being professional with it, (#Selfies) as much as older generations have using it, to quote my boss “What’s a hashtag?” The problem is how to deal with this disconnect and incorporating it into a functional business setting.

8The choice to telecommute requires an understanding of communication through technology. There are certain forms that are inappropriate and there can be a lack of personal communication that is missed out on when corresponding with others through technology. Hopefully, most people understand that snap chatting, or taking a selfie, attaching words to it and sending to your boss asking “What’d you think about that article?” is not only very inappropriate but may get you fired! Technology can be tricky for some people, but it is vital to understand the social boundaries that each form of communication entails.

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As a millennial who is going to be entering the workforce soon and setting down some roots in the near future it is nice to have the concept of telecommuting becoming more popular. If I could sit at home in my pajamas and still get work done 7 days a week I’d be one happy lady, but alas this isn’t an option as of 2015 (lets go innovators, help a girl out). Telecommuting also gives me a peace of mind when thinking about eventually establishing a place for myself. I want to be able to keep my family situated and be able to flourish in an environment of my choice, a.k.a. spending lots of time on the beach. I believe that many millennial and other generational groups are developing the savvy it takes to function as a member of a telecommuting team regardless of location or position. If I wanted to work for a company in Chicago but wanted a house in Rhode Island I see that situation becoming more possible each day. Our society is evolving to include technology into our lives more and more (#hoverboards, #selfiesticks, #hashtags). There is no telling where the tech world could propel us to in the next 10 years.

7The boss-employee relationship becomes different when working away from the office as well as having self-awareness when choosing the right form of communication, whether it is more appropriate for the individual to be contacted through e-mail, their cellphone, home phone etc., (I repeat, please do not snap chat your boss). Not all methods of telecommunication are a sincere replacement for face-to-face contact, important meetings with bosses and clients require a face-to-face interaction and are essential for establishing a foundation and building long-lasting relationships, no pajama days for you lazy bums (yet).

Telecommuting is cool and functional and provides companies and employees with many benefits. Technology does not have to be that bad! There are multiple options and solutions for business incorporating technology into their worlds and things such as hashtags can actually help you (#mycompanyrocks). Most individuals in the business world have the option to work from home at least part time, if not full time. I would love to say that this means its time for P.J. days but it’s shown that people who work from home get more done if they’re dressed as if they’re going into the office (L). Statistics show that workers who are able to telecommute are more likely to have better relationships with their partners and children. This in itself can provide an organization with a happy, satisfied employee that will stay in a company long term.

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On the other side of the coin, telecommuting can be detrimental to your success as an employee if you are not aware of your presence in the workplace. Many employees who telecommute believe they have missed out on travel opportunities and promotions due to their lack of physical presence in the office. Make yourself known and stay connected to your workplace even if you are not there everyday. You should be physically in the office for important meetings as well as to talk to your boss and coworkers on a consistent basis: Call them! Go hang out! Go to lunch! Just be there. Maintaining the flow of information by communicating with other workers is essential for improving yourself, your quality of work, and establishing a presence for yourself in the office. (Water cooler gossip is real). Not only should you be concerned with your boss and coworkers’ opinions of you, your customers both internal and external will be concerned with telecommunication if you are not diligent. Be just as prepared and communicative with employees as if you were in the office, establishing “office” hours that are designated for clients and other work related matters when trying to balance family and other factors that interrupt your day while working at home.

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Telecommuting is not for everyone; there are many situational and personal factors to consider before deciding to telecommute. Working in an office with other people who are working hard with a boss evaluating your performance constantly is a strong motivational factor for success and outstanding work in an on-site environment. Working from home requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation. For me, I would probably never be able to telecommute full time (self awareness is tough). I like the reinforcement of supervision and being able to have my questions answered quickly rather than waiting for my coworkers to respond to my e-mails. I also enjoy the constant hustle and bustle that comes with an office because it motivates me to “hustle” as well, plus there are tons of people to talk to. The negative to being in the office is the constraint of the “9 to 5” that can be hard for me to conform to. As a college student, I’m not used to the office lifestyle and sitting all day, a.k.a. nap time. I’m constantly moving and my day starts early and ends late, with work being done intermittently (naps) instead of for 8 or so hours straight.

As a millennial I understand how important it is for me to be aware of telecommuting and how best to incorporate it into my career. There are workers everywhere who are realizing that there is a shift into a different type of office relationship taking place and it is necessary to adapt (pajama day, maybe?). Those new to telecommuting need to ask questions to learn about how the best way to interact with your office is because telecommuting is different for everyone. For me, telecommuting is a great new option when considering jobs in my future. I know that every field is going to be different and every company has different needs. It is going to be very interesting to see how telecommuting changes in the next few years and begins to impact me as a worker so call me, don’t tweet me, if you want to reach me.

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