Telecommuting in the Office

Think no one is telecommuting because everyone’s present in the office? Think again. Listen to the office chatter. Workers with cell phones, browsers, and iPods are balancing work and life from the workplace.

“Seven fifty? In mint condition? Oh. Then how about six hundred?” They’re selling on craigslist, buying on eBay, and sealing deals by cellphone. “She didn’t have her homework done because we were on a trip last week.” “He’s violating the custody agreement and I want it stopped.” “It’s making this pinging noise, has been for the last thousand miles or so.” “Yeah, Saturday, at the brewpub at six.” They’re talking to accountants, repairmen, lawyers, friends. They’re friending on facebook and sending personal webmail. They work long hours. When else can they fit in personal business?

In a turnabout from taking work home, parents at work manage child care by cellphone. “No…no…I said NO. You may not take your sister’s game. It’s HER turn now. No. Later. I’m working now. Buh-bye. Hello. Again? Now what did I just tell you?” They take work home at night when there are critical deadlines. Why shouldn’t they manage a kiddie crisis from work?

An organization that has postponed setting telecommuting policies for effective work/life balance and performance measurement can’t wait. In our wireless world, telecommuting is already happening, one way or the other. Getting a handle on it in the office makes telecommuting from home just a small step further.