Can't Trust This Telecommuter

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

For all the talk about how we're soon going to be a nation of telecommuters, thanks to new technologies, Broadband Reports points out a study that shows one very big hurdle: most employers still don't trust their employees to work unsupervised. The study was done in Australia, so there's a chance the results wouldn't apply elsewhere, but it does seem like something that is likely to be a major hindering factor for many potential telecommuting opportunities. Of course, it's not just the bosses that don't trust telecommuters: 75% of employees think their telecommuting co-workers are simply goofing off and "are not working at all." At some point, however, someone is going to do a little cost-benefit analysis and realize that office space is a pretty big cost, and trusting your workers to actually do what you've asked them to do could actually pay off. Of course, on the flip side, expect to see many new technologies, applications and services to help solve this problem by somehow "monitoring" the work of telecommuting employees -- which is likely to make most workers only feel even less trusted.
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  1. identicon
    GoodBytes, 19 Aug 2005 @ 11:21pm

    Some examples PRO telecommuting

    I am a software developer, working for over 3 years for US companies, while I live in Europe. The first 2 years I was going to work in my local company, and this last year I work only from home. During all this period, I never had a problem that I could not solve because I was at home, and I was never late with my project schedule.

    Another story: my local company develops and sells software to companies in my country (Macedonia), but also in the surrounding countries. The software is developed in my company's offices, but some people can work from home if they want. After the project is finished and the software is installed at the customer's site, we continue with education, and then with maintenance after that. All this is done remotely, and only in very small number of cases we send someone to go to the customer's offices - usually when there is a hardware problem (and in case we are maintaining the client's hardware, too). And, if the client is far from us, e.g. in another country, we have a partner-team located there, which can resolve hardware or communication problems. Thanks to all this, some of the software development team, the QA team, and the consultants and the CR team can work from home.

    What I want to say is that the technology makes it possible for people to work remotely, giving them more time (to work and to rest), making them more productive, allowing them to work at more flexible hours, and also allowing them to promptly solve problems in so many cases.

    And, since everybody in the food chain is happy, starting from the managers, through the clients, and finally the workers, where is the problem?

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