Six Ways Telecommuting Is Better Than Business Travel

I have had the fortunate pleasure to be someone who works from home for many years now. I gave up the idea of an office when I realized that most of the people who work for me don't live in the same city as I do and setting up an office space just for myself seemed a little sad and depressing. Plus, my business is technology, so my clients don't really care if I do my work from a coffee shop, an office or the top of the Empire State Building (do they have wi-fi up there?) so long as it gets done.

But I do know quite a few people who telecommute, at least part of the time. And, recently, businesses have begun to pass on business travel in favor of e-mail and teleconferencing. It cuts down on costs -- if your travel is of the international variety, the costs savings can be dramatic -- and anyone who doesn't require a face-to-face meeting with a colleague or client doesn't have to waste time traveling.

Here are six other ways, besides cost and time, telecommuting is simply superior to business travel.

6. No luggage.

Let's face it. Luggage sucks. No one likes carrying it around and it is even more annoying when some jackass tries to cram a suitcase into the carry on space that clearly isn't big enough. You know who you are.

5. Planes, trains and automobiles can kill you.

Sure, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be in a plane crash. And train derailments are even less likely. But, cars are freaking dangerous. Why risk any of it when you can commute safely from your bedroom to your desk, which reminds me...

4. No traffic.

Whether you are going to work or heading to the airport, traffic is going to be a problem. It might be actual vehicular traffic or it may be people standing side-by-side on the moving platforms despite signs saying "stationary individuals keep right." Logjams come in all shapes and sizes.

3. Technology is cool.

Getting to hang by your computer all day means plenty of time to surf the Internet and catch the latest video of a girl's fish getting snatched off her line by an 8-foot bull shark. Now, that's cool.

2. Limited real people interaction.

I like people as much as the next person, but when you are crammed into a tiny plane or a cubicle with people you didn't choose to be with, things can get dicey. Lounging at home, the only problem is your family and, well, I can't help you there, buddy.

1. You can work in your underwear.

I have long hated the concept of a dress code. When I was working for others, I cut every corner of the dress code to be more comfortable or save money on clothes. Shirt with a collar? Hello, polo! Black pants? Black jeans will do. With telecommuting, your options are substantially greater and as long as the potentially offending items are out of the video camera's field of vision, feel free to prance around your house wearing nothing if you like. We won't tell.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke