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Productivity and Accountability Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 7:58 AM
Old Hand

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SQLRNNR (3/7/2013) ... In the office, you have to worry about the office mouths, coffee pot and water cooler more than the office eyes. In the office or via remote - distractions are distractions. If you are successful in the office space you will probably be successful via remote. If you are prone to office distractions - then you won't be any more successful at home than in the office.

The key is self-management. I prefer telecommute. I also recognize the value of face-time and work that in where plausible and necessary.


Agree, especially with the part about self-management. I do find that I don't have nearly as many distractions at home as I do at the office. I also realize that won't be the case for everyone.
Post #1428588
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 9:18 AM


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If you don't have noisy children or a nagging significant other at home then maybe, but it has been my experience that the quality of work as well as the quantity overall tends to suffer with remote access employees from ALL the jobs I have worked at over the years, not just the government ones. You might find an occasional dedicated employee that can work remotely, independently and unsupervised, but I have found that to be the exception rather than the rule in my experience in 25 years in the business.

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1428639
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 9:31 AM


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SQLRNNR (3/7/2013)In the office or via remote - distractions are distractions. If you are successful in the office space you will probably be successful via remote. If you are prone to office distractions - then you won't be any more successful at home than in the office.

.


No, they are really not. Dealing with a occasional noisy cube-mate is much different than dealing with three screaming kids running around the house like banshees, barking dogs, nagging housewives, whining dishwashers, roaring lawnmowers, and imposing neighbors stopping by and interupting you all the time. Believe me, they are two totally different kinds of distractions.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1428650
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 9:37 AM


Old Hand

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I agree with Travis because of personal experience. On top of the points mentioned those who work from home also become the default when it comes to chores. Sick kid? you work from home so go get them. Handy man coming? Deal with it. The spouse ET AL stop understanding that you actually need to work but since you are home it isn't any big deal to take care of anything and everything that comes up.

Cheers
Post #1428656
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 10:05 AM


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Clearly, there are successful companies that are thriving in this global economy and making good use of telecommuters to achieve their goals. I worked for one and cited in my first post how a company can do this correctly.

The problems with telecommuting come down to these things:
1) A company must have policies in place for monitoring and tracking progress (and of course enforce such policies - aka: accountability)

2) The potential telecommuter must not have personal circumstances that prevent her or him from being productive while working remotely.

The most important thing (and this is where Yahoo is failing) is the number 1 item above.

If a company is tracking progress and holding employees accountable correctly then they will be in a position to know if there are any deficiencies in performance no mater what the reason.

Simple:
- No performance problem, telecommute all you want and keep up the good work.

- Performance problem, work in the office and if the problem continues there's the door.

Yahoo will make a great test case. If they don't learn how to track progress and make people accountable even after being ordered back into the office then they won't be around long and case closed

As long as there are companies doing this successfully it will be difficult to make a credible case against telecommuting. Especially when all the failures ultimately point back to the company not the employee.
Post #1428677
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 10:40 AM


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"The problems with telecommuting come down to these things:
1) A company must have policies in place for monitoring and tracking progress (and of course enforce such policies - aka: accountability)"

Well there's the rub isn't it? Enforcement. If managment is continually going to give people a pass all the time with comments like "Well Travis, be understanding she is dealing with a lot right now with going through a divorce and dealing with three unmanageable kids", then all the rules and the policies are not going to mean a thing.


"2) The potential telecommuter must not have personal circumstances that prevent her or him from being productive while working remotely."

The reality is that they usually do.



"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1428697
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 11:23 AM


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TravisDBA (3/8/2013)
... If managment is continually going to give people a pass all the time with comments like "Well Travis, be understanding she is dealing with a lot right now with going through a divorce and dealing with three unmanageable kids", then all the rules and the policies are not going to mean a thing. ...


Again, this has nothing to do with a telecommuting problem. I can't believe management will only ask you give this person a pass if they are telecommuting. It seems more likely that they will equally look the other way even if this person is in the office full time with all the same problems and having to take personal calls and make constant runs out of the office to deal with them. (and if they don't put up with it in the office then they shouldn't put up with it for telecommuters either)

This just reinforces my point that ultimately the problem is with the company not telecommuting.

And again, there are plenty of companies already doing this with great success...
Post #1428710
Posted Monday, March 11, 2013 8:12 AM


Old Hand

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The simple fact I support working from home boils down to location. I live in the middle of nowhere, which is 120 miles from nothing. Over the last 9 years, I have worked from home for two companies. If neither of those companies hired remote workers, then I'd still be looking for work. Remote employees have the luxury of working from home, no commuting, and no dealing with attitudes of co-workers; however, we do lose the ability to collaborate with others in a “one-on-one” fashion, as we have to plan our workdays better. At the office, we have supervisors watching our every move and keeping us on track. At home, we only have ourselves to manage. Hands down, I prefer my remote location in the middle of nowhere, secluded from stress of big city, loud noise, and bright lights over the option of working from a office. If my company tells me no more remote employees, then they are now short one Senior Analyst.
Post #1429288
Posted Monday, March 11, 2013 1:10 PM


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Dave62 (3/8/2013)
It seems more likely that they will equally look the other way even if this person is in the office full time with all the same problems and having to take personal calls and make constant runs out of the office to deal with them. (and if they don't put up with it in the office then they shouldn't put up with it for telecommuters either)



Not really, managers like this always seem to put up with this with remote workers because at the office that behavior is much more noticeable than it is from home. The manager notices it from home and if he/she has no spine then nothing gets done. However, at work others tend to notice this much more and then it ultimately gets mentioned to HR by them and then HR takes steps to rectify it, Even if the manager won't move on it. I have personally seen this in action many times over the years. I've even seen managers get fired trying to cover this up too. It is the combination of telcommuting with bad management oversight that is the real problem here, not just telecommuting itself . I did not mean to imply that it was just telecommuting. However, the occurence percentage for it happening does tend go up with telecommuting in general IMHO and in my experience over 25 years in the industry.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1429452
Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:22 AM


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paul.knibbs (3/7/2013)
I think there's another possible reason to not want to work from home. Speaking personally, I like to keep home and work in their own separate compartments--I'll work from home if I absolutely have to, but I really don't like doing it. If I had a large enough house to set up a room specifically for home working then it might be different, but since I don't, I keep them apart.


Perfectly valid, and a good reason. I'll tell you from my experience (and my wife), separating the two is hard. It's much harder to stop working than it is to get motivated to start.







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