Sunday, January 23, 2011

Telecommuting: a Yes or No for you?

I remember when working from home office was becoming more and more popular. In the 90's with the rising cost of downtown real estate in Calgary, Shell Canada at the time was sending quite a few people to work from home. Excited about the prospects of a 4 step walk in the mornings with my cup of coffee down to my computer, I raced into my boss's office and cried out "Send me Home!"

His response: "When hell freezes over Dave."

Not the response I expected to hear!

He went on to say: "Dave, you give energy to this place and you get energy from this place. I like your performance. If i sent you home to four walls, a computer/phone and a dog: your performance and motivation would die."

He was right. Telecommuting can be a great solution for the right person and the right circumstance but there are a few factors that as a leader, you want to consider before making the decision to move someone to work from home.

Here are a couple:

1) Character Type: Employees whose personality is affiliative by nature may not be a good fit. I did give and get energy from the office environment. As an affiliative natured person it was a great environment to encourage my success. The more isolated environment would have quickly brought my motivation down.

2) Commute: In larger centres if someone is commuting 2 plus hours a day alone then regaining that time with family and for relaxation can give that employee increased energy and motivation for the job.

Here are links to a couple other blogs on the topic:

Blog 1

Blog 2
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