Less Pay, More Convenience

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 720371

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Less Pay, More Convenience

  • nico van niekerk

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 551

    One can understand that employers would be reluctant to allow someone with whom they have no trust-relationship to work at home. There are a multitude of distractions at home, such as being closer to the refrigerator, the couch for frequent naps, and doing outside work on the side. This is especially true if the project is of such a nature that benchmarks and deliverables are not clearly quantifiable.

    At least the employer knows that the likelihood of moonlighting, excessive private calls, or frequent trips for household chores are far less likely if the employee sits right there in an open office. Cutting a couple of bucks off the payroll won't make that suspicion go away.

    It takes time for a trust-relationship to develop and I have found a much lower stress-level at the employer if I work longer hours with measurable results. Granted, I am not a W2 employee, but an hourly-billing contractor and giving clients more than they pay for is just a solid investment in job security. A W2 employee suffers more from the perception of "having to be there" than an independent contractor does.

    Predictably, my client's stress-level about remote working lowered considerably when we successfully negotiated a weekly flat rate with my undertaking to immerse myself in the project. Although that works both ways it still took almost a year before relationships were strong enough to make that change to the contract. But, they still demanded that I frequently show my face around the office in spite of state-of-the-art communications and video technology.

    I cannot see a large W2-crowd working from home any time soon, exactly because of the suspicion-factor. It's common to the relationship.

  • Andy Doran

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 160

    I'm not sure why working from home would imply a pay cut. The employer is the one who saves money when the employee works from home - no infrastrcture costs for one (no desk in the office - with all that implies... insurance, space, smaller office required with more employees working from home).

    You are generally paid for the work you do - and that shouldn't change simply because you are not located in a centralised office.

    I have worked from home - telecommuted - since 1997. When I joined my current company in 1999 there was no question of me being based anywhere but from home. The company had one office in the UK at that time - in London. And I live near Manchester.

    Since then there have been many changes - but one thing remains the same. I still work from home.

    Working from home generally means - in my case at least - that I tend to do more than if I was in an office. I have no daily commute. That time is spent doing "actual work" instead of sitting in a car, or on a train.

    I work in an engineering team which is based around the world - I can start early and work late. If I was in an office then I would be far less productive than I am. I can get the kids ready for school in the morning, prepare a meal in the evening and take an hour or two for myself at some point in the day and *still* get more work done than if I had to commute to work.

    My company gets a really good deal from having me work from home.

    Obviously, not everyone can work from home - it depends on the job. But many I.T. roles are ideal for this providing the infrastructure is in place. What matters is the results - if you get the job done, it matters not whether you are in an office or at home.

  • john.riley-1111039

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 961

    I work for Logica in the UK. They have a more enlightened view of home working, allow many employees to do so and actively encourage everyone to do so at least one day per week. The infrastructure they have put in place to support this is very good - fast and secure. The employees in general have responded well to the trust that has been placed in them, and do work hard when at home.

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396613

    I have to say, after almost 3 months of working from home, I'm still not used to it. However, I love it. I'm getting tons of work done. I get it done in the mornings when I'm awake and alert instead of spending hours in meetings. It's great. My stress level is down and it's just wonderful. Yes, I do go & split wood in the middle of the day, but then again, I work into the evening for the job. I do run errands occasionally, but I'll also spend some time working on weekends. It all balances out. Do I spend exactly 8.5 straight hours split by only a 1/2 hour lunch break? Nope. Do I work that long, or more, each and every day? Yep. Is the work of higher or lower quality? I'd argue higher.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • john.richter

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 222

    The large company I work for does not get everything right by a good margin, but one excellent policy they have--and it is much more thoroughly ingrained than the word "policy" implies--is that work at home is no different from work at the office. Except, of course, that it saves the company money--lots of money. Buying, owning and maintaining office space is a huge cost, both up-front and continuing. The cost, of course, does not disappear. I pick up my share, but as I must maintain a home office regardless, the expense actually added is the electrical cost for lights and equipment during my workday. For which I save gas and travel time--both huge expenses for me. In return, we both get flexibility. When I need to be at work at odd hours, I can be without unusual hardship. The day can be as broken as the task requires--something that travel can make impossible. In the past, I've spent nights in the computer room because the next task was too near and home was too far. For the last six years or so when I have those nighttime tasks for my daytime job, I walk across the hall to my own bed and get a few hours sleep. I get more rest and the job gets more attention. Everyone comes out ahead. To keep this going, when the phone rings, I answer. When the job requires odd hours, then odd it is. Communication requires much more care. We have email, chat, phones, conference calls and web meetings--and use them. Those who can't meet those requirements get weeded out quickly.

  • tsceurman

    Old Hand

    Points: 366

    I am probably an oddity in that I actually prefer to be in the office rather than at home. I have found that telecommuting left me behind in a lot of the daily comings and goings. I am certain that this situation was due primarily to communication issues, but it was a cultural issue (small company, everyone in an open space together, so there wasn't a whole lot of need to email or phone people). There was also the simple issue of not being involved in a lot of discussions regarding projects (the whole out of sight, out of mind phenomenon).

    Additionally I have found that, for me, I need that distinct separation between work and home. It was difficult to work during specific hours when the laptop was always right there, and that made personal relationships more difficult. Plus, I have been fortunate in that my commute has never been as bad as I'm sure other people's.

  • Grant Fritchey

    SSC Guru

    Points: 396613

    nico van niekerk (4/26/2011)


    One can understand that employers would be reluctant to allow someone with whom they have no trust-relationship to work at home. There are a multitude of distractions at home, such as being closer to the refrigerator, the couch for frequent naps, and doing outside work on the side. This is especially true if the project is of such a nature that benchmarks and deliverables are not clearly quantifiable.

    At least the employer knows that the likelihood of moonlighting, excessive private calls, or frequent trips for household chores are far less likely if the employee sits right there in an open office. Cutting a couple of bucks off the payroll won't make that suspicion go away.

    It takes time for a trust-relationship to develop and I have found a much lower stress-level at the employer if I work longer hours with measurable results. Granted, I am not a W2 employee, but an hourly-billing contractor and giving clients more than they pay for is just a solid investment in job security. A W2 employee suffers more from the perception of "having to be there" than an independent contractor does.

    Predictably, my client's stress-level about remote working lowered considerably when we successfully negotiated a weekly flat rate with my undertaking to immerse myself in the project. Although that works both ways it still took almost a year before relationships were strong enough to make that change to the contract. But, they still demanded that I frequently show my face around the office in spite of state-of-the-art communications and video technology.

    I cannot see a large W2-crowd working from home any time soon, exactly because of the suspicion-factor. It's common to the relationship.

    So they don't trust me to work from home, but they give me the keys to the kingdom for the enterprise data, and probably the HR & Finance data. Oh, and in the middle of the night, I'm perfectly entrusted, encouraged even, to jump on to work and fix any problems, remotely. I'm also good for doing remote maintenance on weekends. I'm "trusted" all those times, but that 9-5 period, I'm just out to rip off the company... This is my fundamental problem with this approach. If you trust me enough to give me control over your databases, then I think you can also trust me to work from home.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Ninja's_RGR'us

    SSC Guru

    Points: 294069

    Grant Fritchey (4/26/2011)


    nico van niekerk (4/26/2011)


    One can understand that employers would be reluctant to allow someone with whom they have no trust-relationship to work at home. There are a multitude of distractions at home, such as being closer to the refrigerator, the couch for frequent naps, and doing outside work on the side. This is especially true if the project is of such a nature that benchmarks and deliverables are not clearly quantifiable.

    At least the employer knows that the likelihood of moonlighting, excessive private calls, or frequent trips for household chores are far less likely if the employee sits right there in an open office. Cutting a couple of bucks off the payroll won't make that suspicion go away.

    It takes time for a trust-relationship to develop and I have found a much lower stress-level at the employer if I work longer hours with measurable results. Granted, I am not a W2 employee, but an hourly-billing contractor and giving clients more than they pay for is just a solid investment in job security. A W2 employee suffers more from the perception of "having to be there" than an independent contractor does.

    Predictably, my client's stress-level about remote working lowered considerably when we successfully negotiated a weekly flat rate with my undertaking to immerse myself in the project. Although that works both ways it still took almost a year before relationships were strong enough to make that change to the contract. But, they still demanded that I frequently show my face around the office in spite of state-of-the-art communications and video technology.

    I cannot see a large W2-crowd working from home any time soon, exactly because of the suspicion-factor. It's common to the relationship.

    So they don't trust me to work from home, but they give me the keys to the kingdom for the enterprise data, and probably the HR & Finance data. Oh, and in the middle of the night, I'm perfectly entrusted, encouraged even, to jump on to work and fix any problems, remotely. I'm also good for doing remote maintenance on weekends. I'm "trusted" all those times, but that 9-5 period, I'm just out to rip off the company... This is my fundamental problem with this approach. If you trust me enough to give me control over your databases, then I think you can also trust me to work from home.

    Amen!

  • Darin Higgins

    Newbie

    Points: 8

    +1 on grant's comment. It's always bothered me that places that absolutely refuse a telecommute position, are more than happy, day 1 to hand over admin passwords, keys to the front door etc so that you can come in "on off hours" to fix things??!?!

    I telecommuted for almost 10 years, back in an office now for about a year. I like the people I work with, but honestly, I might talk with someone for 10 minutes the whole day. Otherwise, I'm just sitting there in a cube. And I spent almost an hour 1 way to drive there for that. Makes no sense.

    However, I will say this, if you're going to be the ONLY one telecommuting in a org, you need to be very cautious. When +everyone+ is in the same boat (remote wise) it generally works much better.

  • Ninja's_RGR'us

    SSC Guru

    Points: 294069

    Darin Higgins (4/26/2011)


    +1 on grant's comment. It's always bothered me that places that absolutely refuse a telecommute position, are more than happy, day 1 to hand over admin passwords, keys to the front door etc so that you can come in "on off hours" to fix things??!?!

    I telecommuted for almost 10 years, back in an office now for about a year. I like the people I work with, but honestly, I might talk with someone for 10 minutes the whole day. Otherwise, I'm just sitting there in a cube. And I spent almost an hour 1 way to drive there for that. Makes no sense.

    .

    Amen +10. Same here. I'm responsible for 300 jobs, but no we don't trust you with anything important from outside our little walls.

    Darin Higgins (4/26/2011)


    +

    However, I will say this, if you're going to be the ONLY one telecommuting in a org, you need to be very cautious. When +everyone+ is in the same boat (remote wise) it generally works much better.

    Sounds like you have experience in that matter, care to share some stories and tips?

  • bwillsie-842793

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1359

    When I first became self-employed many years I quickly found out work from home didn't work for me.

    My family assumed if I was home I was "fair game" for the "Honey-Do" list, "Let's go shopping", "Daddy she hit me", and a thousand other interruptions. Not good when your trying to debug code.

    I ended up renting a very cheap office in an industrial building just so I had someplace to "go to work."

    It is odd however that a number of years later I can work from home after 6:00 PM and on weekends. Apparently my years of moonlighting taught me that was OK. It also helps that my kids are all grown, and my 3rd (and last) wife is very supportive of me doing that.

  • Ninja's_RGR'us

    SSC Guru

    Points: 294069

    bwillsie-842793 (4/26/2011)


    When I first became self-employed many years I quickly found out work from home didn't work for me.

    My family assumed if I was home I was "fair game" for the "Honey-Do" list, "Let's go shopping", "Daddy she hit me", and a thousand other interruptions. Not good when your trying to debug code.

    I ended up renting a very cheap office in an industrial building just so I had someplace to "go to work."

    It is odd however that a number of years later I can work from home after 6:00 PM and on weekends. Apparently my years of moonlighting taught me that was OK. It also helps that my kids are all grown, and my 3rd (and last) wife is very supportive of me doing that.

    Maybe that's why managers are so relunctant to allow that. I for 1 don't have kids and I have an office at home where I can isolate myself so I don't have those issues... maybe I should repoint that out :w00t:.

  • Victor Kirkpatrick

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3672

    Several of us on our dev team managed to convince management to try a work from home experiment several years ago. After 3 years of doing this, everyone couldn't be happier. Now we are up to 4 days a week WFH. We are so much more productive at home than being in the office! We do have quantifiable measurements to ensure everyone is productive, and we also us Skype to communicate for the most part. If someone pings another person and they often are not there to answer, we pretty much know something is up and that person is not handling their responsibilities. We'll discuss it with the person and management, and they may or may not be put back into the office.

    Time spent driving to and from the office is a WASTE of your time, your money, AND the company's money. We do meet face to face one day a week because that is good and healthy. We're trying to get them to agree to one every 2 weeks.

  • WolforthJ

    SSC Eights!

    Points: 914

    Yes, unfortunately it is the employee who is in the position of giving something for the "privilege" of telecommuting.

    I worked at a place that allowed telecommuting. One day we had the belt-tightening meeting because the company was having some financial troubles. The first statement from management was that all telecommuting agreements were cancelled. In other words, they saw no financial advantage for it. Which could explain their financial difficulties.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 98 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply