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Would your Company allow Telecommuting?

November 10, 2008

tel⋅e⋅com⋅mute

To work at home using a computer connected to the network of one’s employer.

Dictionary.com

The technology that allows you to do this has been around for ages.

  • Video streaming lets you conduct face-to-face meetings on the go.
  • E-mail lets you give/recieve instructions and share your work with others.
  • IP-telephony forwards incoming calls and faxes to you wherever you are.
  • Voice mail takes messages when you’re unavailable.
  • IM-style chat lets you collaborate with colleagues.
  • Document management systems allows you to file your stuff remotely.

Most of you are already telecommuting with your colleagues via e-mail anyway, even if you are just a couple of steps down the hall.

In short, whatever work you need to do as an executive, you can already do out of Starbucks or your bedroom with a notebook and a good cellphone. In theory.

To cut cost in these difficult times, you’d think companies would be eager to do this – to set clear-cut deliverables to every employee and let them work offsite in their own space. The physical office can be cut down to showroom size and an employee portal set up for everyone to come together online. Think of all the money they can save.

Except it isn’t happening.

If your company is result-oriented rather than attendance-oriented, do you think it will ever consider telecommuting? If not, why not?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2008 10:13 am

    Certain companies do allow work fr home policy. If I were to start 1, I wouldn’t mind too. It helps save cost and traveling time for people. Unless I want them to come over for a presentation, customer facing, etc.

    What about the company you’re in now, would they allow?

  2. LC Teh permalink
    November 11, 2008 12:39 pm

    We won’t talk about telecommuting when we couldn’t even talk about flexi-hours. And flexi-hours means we have to clock in at 8 am until 5.30pm. Only after that it’s flexi-hours….

    There used to be debates about how flexi-hours affect productivity and whether the cost advantage is real or imagined. I think companies should look closely at the numbers before deciding one way or the other.

  3. Syd permalink
    November 11, 2008 1:44 pm

    It depend on the nature of the job. I am sure certain job like sales which the sales person can work on flexi time as long as they hit the sales target. I m a network engineer work on flexi time and I can work from home if necessary. We use technology like Unified Communication for interaction , include webEx for Online Meeting. However, It is still rare in Malaysia.

    Yes its a natural thing for field sales and inbound/outbound technical support because their job scopes are driven by the numbers. However for admin work, telecommuting’s problem is human rather than technical. You need discrete measurables to set telecommuting objectives. Yet out of 10 employees I spoke to, only 3 knew how they were being measured in terms of countables and neither could their managers! Its often a fuzzy, “If I think my staff’s work is acceptable, then its ok.” Telecommuting will most certainly fail in that sort of environment.

  4. November 12, 2008 10:21 am

    My team lead NOW is okay, but the boss is not. 😛 He prefers to see us physically in the office.

    Maybe you can ask him why. 🙂

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