Sunday, January 13, 2008

Telecommuting: Good News,Bad News

This really shouldn't be a surprise. Here's a post, copied from "Apathetic Lemming of the North," including the links:

"Study Calls Telecommuting a Mixed Bag"

"PC World" magazine posted an article that says that "... those who do not telecommute are more likely to be dissatisfied with their job and leave the company, " which shouldn't surprise too many people.

On the other hand, the study takes that conclusion from opinion to informed opinion: with a moderately adequate study. (A study of "240 professional employees from a medium-sized company" doesn't involve a big enough set of data to give reliable results, in my opinion.)
Back to "Starting a Small Business:" There are a few lessons here, pretty obvious ones for the most part.
  • Read more than a study's conclusion - find out how they got the data, and what they did with it
  • Employers whose staff includes people who haven't gotten used to contemporary information technology have to consider options:
    • Replace the skill-challenged employees with people who can use contemporary technology
      (Difficult on a personal level, and means losing their training and experience)
    • Provide training so that all employees are 'Internet-ready'
      (Training costs time and money, and the odds are that someone is going to quit, rather than learn new skills - or, worse, stay on the staff and drain everyone's productivity)
    • Ignore the issue, and hope that the Internet and other information technology proves to be a fad
      (This makes as much sense as the old-fashioned employer, a few generations back, who is supposed to explained that he wouldn't allow employees to have telephones, because if he did, "they'd be on the telephone all day, instead of doing business")
Enough of that.

As a the owner, manager, creative staff, clerical staff, and technical staff of my company, I don't have those kinds of problems. I'm fairly tech-savvy, and if I start getting out of my depth, I can always ask my eleven-year-old son for help.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Working From Home:
Short Commute, Low Overhead, and Office Sharing

My second-oldest daughter just now told me that I can use the computer. That's the family's term for the main computer, in my office.

"My office" is a desk and several square yards of what we call the "north room." It's also the room where music gets practiced and made, and has other uses.

This morning, it was used as a sort of impromptu conference room for my wife and our second-oldest daughter. I walked in on a very serious discussion they were having.

Thankfully, I had the sense to ask if I'd be interrupting anything. I'm pretty sure that they were having a mother-daughter talk about a transition this family is going through. There's a little more about that, over at another blog, "Through One Dad's Eye."

Working from home is fine, but sometimes the "office" can't be used exclusively for business. And, that's inconvenient.

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