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Telecommuters

Fri Jul 25 17:15:37 GMT 2003 Telecommuters

I'm writing this from our vacation place in the Berkshires. We spend a lot of time out here. It's not really vacation for me, because I work whether I'm here or in my office, but it's a good break for my wife (she suffers from severe arthritis and fibromyalgia).

Unfortunately, there is less work at home than there should be. Part of it is the fear that telecommuting employees will "goof off", but I think most of it is just bad attitudes by bad managers.

For example, our own Federal government has a mandate to increase its numbers of telecommuters. One of my close relatives is able to do that now thanks to her new boss, but her previous manager flatly refused to let anyone work at home under any circumstances. When gently reminded that he was mandated to have a certain percentage of employees working from home, he said he didn't care, wasn't going to do it, and that was that.

I suspect too many private enterprises have similar attitudes. It's unfortunate, because it's likely that they'd actually get more and better work out of telecommuting employees. With all the technology we have today, it's very inexpensive to set someone up at home with access to the corporate data and phone networks, and even cameras if video contact is important. It's easy, it's amazingly cheap and the benefits are huge. Too bad so many managers are stuck in the physical control mind set.



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