"...Workers...have given up on the freeway and now use the information superhighway to get to work. It's called Telecommuting and it's catching on". - Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News, March 22, 1994
Telecommuting certainly isn't a new concept; a quick Google search returned sites which suggested it really gained popularity in the 1980s as part of an environmental movement aimed towards reducing traffic and thus, pollution. I might suppose the practice really gained steam with the dawn of the "Welcome! You've got mail!" era, when personal computers were becoming more of a normality than luxury; Tom Brokaw was ahead of his time. And to think, the internet and technology have come so far in the last 15 years; we can hold global conference calls while looking at the person on our desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone as though he or she is sitting beside us. Factor in today's gas prices and I'm surprised we haven't all holed up at home. While some professions and positions probably lend themselves to telecommuting a bit better --I can't imagine a police officer working from home-- being an IT professional with Briteskies, it's ideal.
I've been telecommuting for the past eight months and have fully embraced the lifestyle and its advantages. As trivial as it may sound, I get a little more sleep than I used to, which I'm especially thankful for while we're in the freezing death-grip of winter and the blizzard outside is in full force. I am now more focused, as there aren't any office dramas or chatty Kathy distractions, and it's done wonders for my productivity and creativity. Not only do I feel I am benefitting from being able to work from home, but I believe Briteskies does as well. When organizations allow their employees to telecommute, it saves on office space, which in turn provides them with the ability to invest in other areas of the business.
Unfortunately, not every organization has warmed up to the idea of telecommuting, believing that people would be more inclined to take advantage of the situation. I think this speaks to a much larger issue, being whether or not your employer trusts you. I think that if a company can't trust its employees, there's a much bigger problem. I believe most people who have good, fulfilling careers want to do well and take pride in what they accomplish; they are self motivated and have a great work ethic no matter where they work or who is watching. Oh, and in the IT world, it isn't difficult to determine whether or not someone has done his or her job. Then there's the argument that telecommuting eliminates the need for human interaction, the personal touch, office camaraderie or family atmosphere. Simply because you don't travel to the office on a daily basis it doesn't mean that you will never again have the opportunity to work next to someone. Telecommuting, thus far, has been a fantastic experience. I can work from the comfort of my home, without distraction and without the stress. I can't imagine an argument opposing the idea of telecommuting with which I might agree, can you?