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Not Just At Home

By Steve Jones,

Today's editorial was originally released on Oct 10, 2007. It is being republished as Steve is out on the SQL in the City US 2012 tour.

There was an interesting article about how telecommuting is the secret to employee happiness and it makes some sense in today's fast-paced, highly connected world. There are a number of job surveys that list flexible hours as one of the most desired benefits.

What's interesting is that telecommuting doesn't necessarily mean working from home. It could be from a remote office, your car, or Starbucks (my place of choice). Wherever you can get connected and get work done that's not the main office would be an option for telecommuting and avoiding the hassles of traveling to work.

For most of us, we already are telecommuters. How many of you get paged/called at night or after hours? How many of you check email or your database servers or even fix a problem from somewhere besides your desk at work? I think a lot of employers want to take advantage of our telecommuting capabilities without really giving us the option to use them during normal working hours.

The old out-of-sight-not-working attitude of many managers is changing, or should be. Most workers can have their productivity observed by what they get done, not by how many hours they sit in a chair. We're already wired enough, let us take advantage of the capabilities.

And while it's not free for your company to implement telecommuting, especially on a wide scale, chances are that you've got some of the infrastructure ready. Laptops, VPN, maybe even cell phone forwarding can all add up to make the implementation easier. Telecommuting is also a great benefit that makes employees happier and saves them money. Not having to commute to work these days could add up to quite a few dollars a day for many people in gas alone. Heck, ask your company to lobby for some local tax credits for all your telecommuting; you're saving wear and tear on the roads!

If your manager balks, maybe you should remind him of how many times he's called you at home or wanted you to fix something after hours. Tell him the next time you might need to drive into the office and delay the fix for a few hours.

Or maybe until the next morning.


Podcast Notes

I appreciate all the feedback from people and I really am working on video. Mostly it's a question of getting some decent editing skills and then building up my pipeline so I can support a daily video editorial as well as the audio. Actually I'd be interested to know which you prefer. Send me a note.

Music from Robin Stine, www.robinstine.com/. It's a little different, but it struck me and I enjoyed it. If you like it, send her a donation, buy a CD or something.

And if you're in a band, send me a sample of some music. I'd love to feature some SQLServerCentral.com community talent.

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