December 14, 2004


Varifrank tackles the underpants gnomes of "import less oil".

Posted by Sarah at December 14, 2004 07:57 AM

My job could easily be performed from my home, or frankly anywhere in the world. None of the people I see at work actually have anything to do with what I do (other than checking my time sheets), and all of the people I contact who I actually work with, I have never seen in person. I have yet to convince my company to let me do that though. Working on it......

Posted by: John at December 14, 2004 10:29 AM

Changing culture is always harder than changing technology. When I started working remotely, my manager was very hesitant and generally non- supportive towards the idea of 'remote work', or as he called it " working from home". His joke was "working from home is like playing at work, a waste of time". I solved most of my problems with his perception of what "working at home" really means with the simple application of a webcam in my home office. I told him that he could watch me at work during any time of the day, just as if I was sitting down the hall in a cubicle in the same office. With the use of Instant Messenger and the phone he was quickly able to maintain better contact with me than he was with the 3 employees on our team in the office he worked in on the east coast.

After three months, he began to notice that althought he and the other three people in our group were busily going back and forth from home to an office, I was spending that time accomplishing actual work rahter than just moving 'to and fro'. I was vastly more productive than they were, even though they were all in the same office. I never got sick, I never got stuck in traffic and I was never late to a meeting, even though I was 3 time zones away.

After 6 months of close observation, he concluded that I had the better deal and he closed the east coast office and sent everyone home to work remotely. After 60 days of the normal 'decompression' that comes with working remotely, there wasnt anyone who said they wanted to go back to working in a traditional office.

My experience has been that once a company understands the direct and very real savings in money and the demonstrated improvement to the bottom line with increased productivity that occurs with "remote work", it all happens rather quickly.

It's getting over the initial perception that you are really home playing around and doing the laundry rather than working that is the hardest barrier to get through. The truth is you work harder remotely than you do at an office, its just that you dont mind it so much.

Posted by: Frank Martin at December 21, 2004 10:27 PM