Telecommuting Becoming More Popular

from the come-on,-everybody's-doing-it dept

Seems like we see one of these articles every few months, but it definitely is indicative of a big trend. More and more employers and employees are looking to telecommuting as an option for employees. The reasons that both sides like it vary widely – but just having the option seems to make everyone happy. Employers like it because it lets them retain or hire workers they might not otherwise have access to. It’s often cheaper as well. Employees like it because it gives them more control over their workspace and time – as well as giving them back more time since they no longer get stuck in a long driving commute. Interestingly, while some telecommuters work from far away, the vast majority work near their actual offices – and most don’t telecommute all the time, but a couple days a week. Of course, it’s not for everyone, and the article makes it clear that “forced” telecommuting probably is not a good idea. However, for those employees and employers that it makes sense for, it seems to be a perfect solution.

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Comments on “Telecommuting Becoming More Popular”

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DL says:

My experience

I telecommuted in my last job (not my current one). I found three issues:
1. Goofing off
2. Working too much
3. Not enough human contact!

The first one is, I guess, obvious when working from home. The second one is the flip side… you are always at the office… sometimes I found myself working from 7 AM until midnight. The third one is, I guess, obvious too: sometimes it is easier to hash out technical issues with your coworkers sitting together around a table or a computer instead of on the phone… and being able to get dressed in the morning and head to an office with other people makes you feel more like a human being.

I completely understand people telecommuting only a few days a week from relatively near their job location. That seems ideal to me: one or two days a week from home, the rest of the time in the office.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: My experience

I just started telecommuting and agree. I actually have the choice of working from home or going into the local field sales office where 3-4 guys come in and out all day (I am not in sales, so I am basically just sharing the space with these guys).

I find that I go into the field office 3-4 days a week for that human interaction, and having people around helps with setting a structure and producing discipline.

The other problem with officing away is not being able to work the office politics. Whatever level you are on, you need that “face time” with the right people and to get into the rumor mill to get a feel for what is going on.

I am reserving judgement at this time, but so far I think I prefer, overall, the structured office environment, although I am going to give my current job all I got.

thecaptain says:

it depends on the circumstances

I’ve telecommuted before and the the issues mentionned in the above are valid. To be a “good” telecommuter, you need a lot of discipline.

Goofing off was a problem for me at first…however after missing an important deadline, I buckled down, but then overwork was the problem (overcompensated) because its tempting to just put in the extra time to do it to your satisfaction (because I do like what I do…).

The hardest part at the time was stress…as stated before, you are ALWAYS at the office…and it was even worse since I had a small apartment, so my desk and computer were in my bedroom…so I was always at work. Only when I moved and was able to get a separate room for an office was this problem alleviated.

However, with experience, its a fun way to work, IF the employer is flexible.

One mistake made by a LOT of companies is to try and treat you like a 5 year old…they demand timesheets, logon times, all sorts of monitoring to make sure you are working a specific number of hours…all things they would track if you went to the office. These companies do not understand the nature of telecommuting and try to keep too much control.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I’d like to telecommute my current job, then I wouldn’t spend all day surfing the web when we’re having a slow period, or waiting until the afternoon when certain people I work with get in.

I expect if I telecommuted, I’d get as much done as I currently do, in about half the time.

I used to be self-employed, so know the “not enough human contact” problem, you do get lonely, although “goofing off” was never an issue for me – if I took the whole day off, I’d just work all the next day.

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