It’s only fitting that on a day where you need an ark, or at least a kayak, in order to make it to the office, we’re going to look at telecommuting.
I get to telecommute once or twice a week. I don’t do it out of any sense that it’s better for the environment or other green reasons. I do it because the company I work for lets me, and it’s a lot more convenient to be on a 7 a.m. conference call from my sofa. That’s right, most of my telecommuting days are marked by constant calls. By the time I’m done with the first or second, I don’t have enough time to hit the shower and get to the office. By the time I do have time to do that, it’s 1 p.m. and not worth the trip.
The ability to telecommute is one of the perks of my job. In addition to my regular one or two days a week, I can choose to stay at home if the Metro or roads are having a meltdown. That adds to my sanity and keeps me happy on days I’d otherwise have gone mental.
‘Students in computer room, c1970s’
courtesy of ‘LSE Library’
The benefits of telecommuting are well known, but I’ll list a few, anyway: happier employees, lower costs at the office, more productivity from the employee, the ability to deal with out of hours problems, lower transportation costs, and so on. But there are limits.
Earlier this year, during one of the many snowmageddon weeks, I wound up working from home for about ten days. You get a little stir crazy. There’s only so much television and only so many conversations with the coffee table you can take. And while companies today make use of various tools to keep communication open, instant messaging with your coworkers isn’t nearly as effective as an impromptu brainstorming session.
It is the camaraderie and that I miss the most when working from home. If it is a day or two a week, it’s fine, refreshing even. I get to cook lunch, and do laundry, all the while on calls or replying to email. But I don’t know if I could do it all the time.
What are our beloved readers’ views on working from home? Do you do it? Are you allowed to? Would you like to do it all the time, or just some of the time? Is telecommuting the best kind of commuting? Tell us in the comments.