FastCompany posted this article by a disgruntled telecommuter: http://www.fastcompany.com/3006478/why-working-home-worst-both-worlds

I am convinced that some people need a “how to” on effective WFH. However, like many things in life, those who need it the most will benefit from it the least. So here are my thoughts in a FWIW catch-all post and feel free to join in the rant.
  1. WFH is for responsible adults. Period. If you are the kind of person who needs someone standing over your shoulder making you work, then WFH is NOT for you. If you like surfing the internet, watching cat videos, checking facebook, and re-tweeting pithy comments from others more than you like doing your job, then WFH is NOT for you. Don’t start. You are not a responsible adult and cannot be trusted with this level of responsibility.
  2. WFH is best in a “results only work environment.” See: http://www.gorowe.com/ for information on this. If you are a manager who believes that most of the people who work for you are slackers who need someone to crack the whip and keep their noses to the grindstone, then having WFH employees is not for you. If you look out in the parking lot at 5:00 p.m. to take note of those who leave on time so you can identify who “doesn’t have enough work” then WFH employees are not for you. As an employee, if you work for a manager who feels it’s more important for you to “be there” than it is for you to get things done, then you will have a hard time succeeding in a WFH environment. On the other hand, if you have a manger who cares only about the quality and volume of your work, then by all means, see if WFH is for you.
  3. WFH is for time/location independent work only. Or mostly. If you do work that is not necessarily tied to a specific time & place, then you may have an ideal WFH job. Writers, editors, instructional designers, graphic designers, and others who work in an environment with intermittent or indirect stakeholder contact may be ideally situated to a WFH arrangement. If you absolutely, positively do NOT have to have it done right now, then WFH may be for you. But if you have to have constant direct interface with your stakeholders, then maybe you should go in to the office.
In summary, here are Finerman’s gripes about telecommuting:
  • Inability to focus on work when at home
  • Lack of work/life boundaries
  • Inability to trust staff to do their jobs
The comment steam is particularly informative since she has nearly 100% disagreement at the time of this posting. Suffice to say, when it comes to telecommuting, “your results may vary.”
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