Maybe Telecommuting Just Isn't Meant To Be

from the need-that-bridge dept

For years and years, we've discussed various trends in telecommuting, noting earlier this year that high gas prices and public transit strikes might help push the trend even further. However, the problems of telecommuting continue to mean that it's just not for everyone. The NY Times notes that, even in the transit strike last week, many workers who could have telecommuted preferred to brave the cold and go into the office. There are a variety of reasons given -- from the traditional need for "face time" to the basic separation between home and work life. For many, it appears, the "commute" is more than just the function of getting from home to the office and back again, but a mental separator to keep work out of home life. That's one issue that's not so easy to break down with technology. Still, it will be interesting to see if that's more a generational issue. I would imagine that today's multi-tasking, instant-messaging, text-messaging, listening-to-music, watching-tv, surfing-the-web all at once kids might not have as much need to separate home life from work life.
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  1. identicon
    CloakedMirror, 27 Dec 2005 @ 6:07am

    Telecommuting

    I was able to spend two years working from my home because my client was located in another city, and the type of work I was doing didn't require anything more than an ability to connect to their systems.

    During that time, I went from getting hardly anything done, to being more productive at home than in an office environment. A major factor in being able to do that was "training" myself and my family to respect the office area I set up in my home. When the door to my office area is closed, my wife and kids know that I am working and should not be disturbed. If the door is open then dad is available for any family needs, even if he is technically working on stuff for the client.

    Unfortunately, that contract eventually came to an end. I haven't had the good fortune to find another client that will let me work like that on a regular basis, although the place where I am currently on contract has allowed me to work from home a couple of times when the weather was particularly nasty.

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