Software the way of the textile industry?

Lucas Gonze
Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:55:32 -0500

> > At least that was the conclusion I came to concerning why telecommuting
> > didn't catch on, which seems similar.
> No, that failed because 95% of people didn't do any work from home.

Speaking as a telecommuter and a manager of telecommuters, the biggest issue is
learning to keep in touch.  Telecommuters need to have and use a cell phone, a
regular line, a fax machine, IM and email.  There should be just as many little
contacts during the day as if the person was in the next cube; a person should
be just as easily accessible.

Another problem with telecommuting is office politics.  Inhouse people have an
advantage, because personal contact is less formal and more compelling than
online contact.  Inhouse people are less likely to be laid off and more likely
to be promoted.

Another issue is competence.  Employees who are driven from inside will do fine
as telecommuters once they adjust.  But it's easier to keep a short leash on
people who need supervision if they're inhouse.

The issue is definately not that 95% of people don't do any work from home.  The
one guy I had like that was a poor performer even when he was inhouse.