Clap your hands if holidays are your favorite time of year to work! *Silence*
While there are certainly benefits to working over the holidays, most Americans understandably express horror at the thought of having to do so. And with Thanksgiving coming up, people want to spend time with their families, enjoying their company and gobbling up turkey – not hunched over a keyboard or running a cash register.
Widespread disapproval to working over Thanksgiving was highlighted by a group on Facebook created in October called “Say No To Shopping Over Thanksgiving.” Since then, it has received about 50,000 likes with hundreds of thousands sharing the page with their friends.
One of their images quickly went viral:
While retailers are the focus of the group’s boycott, there are other workers who would not necessarily be affected by consumers staying home and would still have to work. Are there any possible solutions for these individuals?
There is an answer: telecommuting. By working at home, the choice between work and family is no longer an either/or situation. Both are now possible! Telecommuting allows a number of opportunities not available before. For example, a person who can disperse their workload throughout the day can switch off doing work and spending time with family. A worker with a (normally) long commute now has extra hours in the day for leisure. And someone who wants to make a trip to visit their family but still has to work is no longer devoid of the opportunity to do so simply because they have to physically be in their office.
The option to telecommute is unfortunately not available to everyone. But in recent years, it has become a viable possibility for a larger number of people, especially due to the rise of hosted VoIP. In contrast to analog phone systems, VoIP phone systems are compatible with working from home. That’s because the only thing that’s needed to access your (VoIP) business phone system is an internet connection, which likely is available at home (and yes, probably even at Grandma’s house) as well.
Telecommuting certainly isn’t a perfect solution to the issue of working over the holidays, but it does make the situation better for many workers and their families. And with the predicted growth in VoIP for the next few years, telecommuting over the holidays will become more viable and more widespread.