Telecommuting has been around for a very long time. I know, I co-wrote the first (and as far I I know the only) telecommuting plan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1990 (or so, I forget).
From that effort, I gained a lifelong love of the potential of remote work. I am shocked that it has not become more commonplace….but I think I know why: OFB’s (read further!). 🙂
A shortened, but still compelling, list of positives for Telecommuting:
- Increases productivity
- Saves time
- Saves money
- Happier / less hassled employees
- Employers can hire from a larger pool of employees.
- Reduces office costs for the employer
On and on….
The negatives are mostly in the addled minds of the Old Fashioned Bosses (OFB’s) who need to retire anyway.
- The notion that work is not getting done unless you are under the scrutiny of your boss is ARCANE.
- The notion that telecommuting is an employee PERK is LUDICROUS (it benefits the employer and employee, DUH)
- The notion that a project must be worked on between 9 AM and 5 PM is STUPID.
- The employer needs to pay for Internet access, a good computer and work space, etc. Actually this is valid. 🙂
See my very short blog entry on Starting a Telecommuting Program for free, in short: Set a deadline for a project, Let the telecommuter do it, Stay connected. If the project was done on time and within budget…you have started a telecommuting program at your work. If not, try a new project with someone else, or maybe, you failed. Correct the mistakes and try again. Easy as 3.14.
But, there are some negatives for the telecommuter as well:
- Easy access to the refrigerator
- The constant need to work any / every hour of the day and night
- Smelly PJ’s
- The lack of human socialization (even video conferencing cannot help…. believe me I know probably better than anyone in the world, but, I retired, so I will not get into that).
- Distractions at home (spouse, kids, pets, laundry, the lawn…..)
Here is where COWORKING comes in for the telecommuter (maybe not the one or two day telecommuter, but, certainly the full-time, or near full-time, telecommuter).
With well over 1,500 coworking locations around the world, chances are pretty good that there may be at least one within a few minutes drive of your home. If you are lucky, you may have a choice of locations.
Telecommuting at a Coworking location gives you:
- Free access to the Internet
- A nice desk to work at….in an office environment. (You leave the office, and work, when you leave)
- Access to your boss via video conferencing (then again I retired, so no more said on that….)
- The need to shower and get dressed to go to work.
- Socialization with humans who are not your spouse or kids.
- Help with your project if needed.
- Serendipitous ideas that can help in ways you can never predict.
- CLOSE to home. Within 5 minutes of leaving your home, you can be working. (Increased productivity, save gas, reduce traffic, save the environment, etc.)
- A happier employee, more refreshed no need to fight traffic, spend extra money on gas, and most importantly, the telecommuter is close to home, kids, spouse when needed.
The positives of telecommuting at a coworking location FAR outweigh the negatives. Why not do it?
Start here: http://Coworking.com