Loss of on-site brainstorming.
Need to provide appropriate technology to work at home.
For the employee:
Isolation. Some employees may no longer feel connected to others at work.
Loss of clear boundaries between work and home.
Accomplishments can be harder to showcase.
You may lack the discipline and drive to work on your own.
Potential loss of direction from the boss.
Given the pros and cons of telecommuting, what's a firm to do? First, recognize that not all firms or jobs are well suited to having telecommuting options (for example, elementary school teachers, factory workers or positions requiring security clearances). Also, it is important to understand your firm's industry and what your competitors are doing. If all of your top competitors allow employees to telecommute and you don't allow it, that could hurt your ability to hire talent.
Second, remember that it doesn't have to be "all or none." It's possible that some amount of telecommuting in a job (one or two days a week working at home) may still enable both employers and employees to experience some of the pros of telecommuting without all the cons. Some employers are clear about what days they need people in the office or what specific hours employees should be available for meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Third, give a realistic preview to employees who might be telecommuting so they can make sure they are suited to this type of work — they need to be self-starters and self-disciplined. Not everyone will want to telecommute. I've coached many people who specifically state that "going to an office" is better suited to their personality.
Fourth, draft specific guidelines and policies for telecommuting in the workplace, and be sure there is a clear monitoring system.