I’ve been commuting into downtown Atlanta a good bit recently and I’m about done…not with my projects but with the traffic, and even more so, the nasty air. It seems I can’t catch a break from the diesel trucks sputtering their filth, smokers with their cigarettes hanging out their windows, and old junker cars burning oil (I guess a lot of people missed “cash for clunkers”). Having a family member who suffered from lung cancer, I’m extra sensitive to this stuff.
All the traffic and filth in the air reminded me of telecommuting. Where the heck are all the telecommuters? It seems like everyone who has a job is driving into work. Why!!?? It’s 2010, for crying out loud!
I think it’s crazy not to let people work from home as long as the security issues that come along with it (i.e. unsecured home computers, unsecured wireless network usage, weak passwords, and unencrypted laptops/mobile devices) are addressed. Telecommuting helps morale. It helps productivity. You can’t tell me no one is goofing off at the office anyway. I see people doing that all the time. Furthermore, research has shown that when you’re interrupted it takes 20 minutes to get back into the groove of what you were doing. Interruptions occur in the workplace about every 20 minutes; does that mean no one is really getting anything done?
I’ve been ranting about telecommuting for a while, and unfortunately there’s a huge double standard. It’s okay for management to do it but not for regular employees. I have a good friend who has been subjected to this at multiple companies. Does management not trust its employees enough to let them work from home at least a few days a week? Why? If you ask me, this is an HR problem – managers not hiring the right people – more than anything else.
It’s time to step into the 21st century and use some of these technologies we’ve paid so much to put in place. Make telecommuting work for your business and be done with it. It’s not only a matter of thinking things through to do it right – it’s also a matter of choice.
Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, expert witness, author, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog. You can reach Kevin through his website at www.principlelogic.com and follow him on Twitter at @kevinbeaver.