On Telecommuting

I think the article There’s no such thing as a ‘remote’ employee in Computerworld is well worth while. People in my generation seem to think working from homed is something special and extraordinary, but as this article points out, our work follows us home and our personal lives follow us to work, and with remote options, the line blurs.

In my work, there’s the obvious “remove” aspect when I remote in to a client’s PC and fix problems. That usually happens multiple times in a day. Alternatively, I might be providing instructions on how to use the software. A voice call combined with a demonstration done remotely can be just as effective for most things as being in the office.

I would add that one of the things we need to work on is providing adequate rest time. The fact that a client can call me on Saturday or at 10 pm when they’re working late is wonderful. I’m obviously more excited about the fact that one of my grandchildren can call while I’m working on a system in someone else’s office. I save a great deal of time because I can talk to clients and sometimes solve problems while driving. Since I have a function to read texts, thus allowing me to receive them while driving, I can also save time and miles when notified of a problem along the way.

At the same time, my work never leaves me. It seems that I’m never really off. Overall, I don’t want to complain. I have chosen how to work and in general I prefer it to alternative ways of doing business. But as this crossover between work and personal time continues to develop—and I think it will become more pronounced, not less—we will need to watch our need for rest and time off.

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