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Telecommuting DBAs Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 8:52 AM
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The reason why telecommuting (inspite of all its' very serious advantages) is still not the norm nationally - leave alone globally is because employers have a very great fear of losing control over their workforce - despite every single evidence and statistic to the contrary employers still firmly believe that the "invisible" employee (re:Steve's editorial) is not as productive as the visible one.

That would be one of your major advantages over an Indian DBA counterpart (assuming you live in the U.S) :

1) Location still matters in the telecommuting world - most of the teleworkers I know come in to the office at least once a week - where distance doesn't matter is usually in the case of someone very senior and trustworthy!

2) My manager used to (in the initial weeks) call at random hours just to check and make sure that I answered the phone and that I was where I said I would be - with the time difference between the U.S and Asian countries "checking on an employee" becomes a very difficult task.

3) 9/11 - there've been so many changes in so many ways after this day - one of them is that the Federal (more than State) government contracts have increased a hundredfold and most of these come with the minimum requirement that the employee be a U.S citizen (most require a secret clearance and up...) !

4) One of the drawbacks that most teleworkers have groused about is that when working from home the clock never stops ticking so they put in at least a few more (productive I may add) hours than their office going colleagues - now (strangely enough) - the employers are always happy with this complaint! <

5) Lastly, I would come full circle back to "earning trust" - with me (as with most others) - the beginning is usually - "why don't we try it for a couple of weeks/months" and if it doesn't work out, we can always revert back to the 9 to 5 office routine - this arrangement is usually only when the employee is "local" and not separated by oceans.

Telecommuting is still in its' infancy and it's going to be some time before it becomes as practiced as a raging fad!
It is also not for everybody (it does require a LOT of discipline) and not everyones' work situation is suited for it.









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Post #192490
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 11:25 AM
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Good article.  I'm glad it works for you.  My current employer is about to start experimenting with it as our headquarters gets compressed into a single building.  My issues when I used to telecommute were

1) reduction in networking with other professionals in and out of the company (important with layoffs ever near)

2) loss of visibility to people besides my boss who still have an impact on my review/career (I don't blame my boss for this - it is a skill to be developed like any other)

3) my significant other could not accept the idea that just because I am home does not mean I am always interruptible. 

Larry



Larry

Post #192587
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:15 AM
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Kelly - thanks for sharing the location - so if Tulsa is going from "for the most part very conservative" to trials successful enough to motivate other departments that's great news indeed!

Kathi - "weird sinus noises" just cracked me up! I wonder if we've been sharing the same managers unbenownst to us ?!?!

David - I feel for you - but your home brew should pull you out of the dumps so there's at least that to drown your sorrows in!

"my significant other could not accept the idea that just because I am home does not mean I am always interruptible" - Larry - REASON with her...women are very receptive to reasoning and logic - it has long been classified as one of their strong(er) suits!

Adrian - I'm with you on the "win-win" - now, if only the companies would recognise its' worth!









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Post #193017
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:05 PM


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I've been telecommuniting for 5 years now as a database consultant (developer).  My corporate office is in San Jose, but I live in KY.  From time to time I need to travel to work with clients, get some training, participate in design sessions (which are easier in person), or conduct a rollout. 

Lately, even many of these tasks have been fully remote.  For the last two projects, I never saw any of the clients.  We spoke on the phone, they FTPd their databases and applications, I developed them remotely and used WebEx or Microsoft Placeware to demo the product (rapid application development mostly) and once complete, I bundled up the files and scripts and FTPd them back to the client.  In some cases their IT group took it from there, in others I conducted the entire rollout via remote control. 

As for my company, I'm a lot cheaper being remote.  The only equipment I require is a laptop, and the rest I supply.  I get reimbursed for my business line and they provide a partial reimbursement for broadband and cell phone charges.  Being an IT guy I rarely need any help from my corporate IT.  They just mail me CDs from time to time and I install the things here. 

Many of the other benefits were mentioned in the article or by other responders, so I won't restate them.  However, one that wasn't emphasized was the employee loyalty.  I have a pretty sweet setup.  I make a decent San Jose salary while paying a Mid-West cost of living.  I never commute.  I work my own hours and unlike many respondents, I'm not tied to the 8-5 at all.  I frequently work 10-6 or 12-8 etc.  I also frequently work 4 hours one day and 12 the next.  As long as I hit my deliverables and attend meetings that I've agreed to, everyone is happy.  During light times (haven't seen these in a while) I can take a few hours off and play with my girls.  During busy times (these have been very common lately) I can put in overtime easily.  My boss relies on me letting her know when I need more work or when I'm getting overloaded. 

With all the benefits, how likely am I to leave the company?  It would take an unbelievably great opportunity to pull me away.  I have turned down jobs making $10-20k more that would require me to go into the office.  It's just not worth it to me.  Other people in my department have left for companies willing to pay only slightly more than they were making.  Replacing an employee in my department takes about 8 months.  2 months to find them and then 6 months to train them.  Of the employees who have left the company willingly, only one was a telecommuter -- and she left for another telecommuting position.

Telecommuting doesn't work for every position, but for ones that it does work for, it's a wonderful thing -- both for the employee and the company. 

Best of luck to those looking to become telecommuters.

 

 

Post #193101
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:13 PM
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You're right about that loyalty!

I made the mistake of submitting an article to the company newsletter about the +s of telecommuting where I said that I would take a telecommuting offer over a payraise any day - I haven't seen a payraise since that article (2 years ago...) but I haven't left the company either...!









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Post #193107
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:14 PM


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Another oops on your list .
Post #193109
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:17 PM
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I hope you aren't counting them Remi - you'll run out of fingers and toes long before I stop adding to my oops list...

ps: Unless you're using a 'select count(*)' of course...









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Post #193111
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 12:19 PM


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Good news that I know how to use aggregates and how to create simple table .
Post #193112
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 4:56 PM
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As a person being trained by a DBA who telecommutes part-time, I notice at least one drawback to having that DBA unavailable at the wrong time.


Post #193275
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 4:34 AM
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I have soved the SO problem by having my wife tellecomute as well. We both work in an office at home


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