Also published in the Tracy Press.
Despite what Yahoo seems to think….remote work is a good thing. Check that…..remote work is a GREAT thing.
Assuming you have a career that is conducive to remote work, imagine the day when you simply crawl out of bed and spend 10 seconds “commuting” to your office. Imagine the day when you can commute 1 mile to a remote office right here in Tracy, CA. Imagine the day when you can collaborate via voice, video, and data with your colleagues around the world.
That day is here. The technology is here. All that is needed is to change the culture to accept these possibilities. Unfortunately, changing a culture is difficult! And it can take10 to 20 years…or more. The telecommuting / remote work concepts have been around over 20 years. The next step is for the OFB’s (Old Fashioned Bosses) to retire (us Boomers). Then….in the next few years the Internet / computer / smart-phone savvy millennials (Gen Y) of today will start entering these management positions. This new blood WILL bring with it a shift from office centric work to dispersed / remote work. (for example, see here: http://business.time.com/2012/03/29/millennials-vs-baby-boomers-who-would-you-rather-hire/ )
Seriously, OFB’s, how stupid is it to travel two hours, one way, to an office to do exactly the same thing you can do from home, or Starbucks, or Barnes & Noble, or a coworking (Editor: NO hyphen in coworking!) location? DUH…very stupid. That will change.
But, for now. There have been “zillions” of studies in the past 30 years looking at the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting / telework, or, as I like to call it, remote, or dispersed, work. The advantages are many. Increased productivity, improved morale, the ability to tap talent from anywhere, reduced office costs, reduced dependance on gas, increased quality of life, reduced car emissions and traffic, less stress, survivability, to name just a few. But there are disadvantages too: Loneliness, smelly PJ’s, distractions, 24×7 work, weight gain, the fear of not getting promotions or the credit you deserve, and more.
Over the next few months I will look at all of the above to show how remote work is as I said in the second sentence is GREAT.