Re: Telecrastinating

Subject: Re: Telecrastinating
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 16:25:30 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

> The majority of Americans are lazy, selfish, spiteful, and obsessive. They will
> do the absolute bare minimum required to get their paycheck. If you run a
> company and sign paychecks - you know this as fact. Finding good, motivated,
> hard-working people is very hard. Most people simply do not want to work. And
> to top it off, they think the universe owes them something for their laziness.

I'm jumping into this discussion late, since I was in New York for
four days last week and only quickly scanning for business e-mails.
However, as both a manager and a telecommuter, I did want to

I suggest that whether or not Andrew's view of human nature is
accurate is irrelevant. The real usefulness of his comments is as a
corrective. Many people in high tech seem to feel that telecommuting
is a right. However, Andrew gives the manager's viewpoint, and I
suggest that anyone who wants to telecommute consider his viewpoint
carefully. Whether it's right or not, it's the viewpoint that you
have to fight against if you want to telecommute.

To state what should be the obvious:

Managers need to know that telecommuters will get the job done.
They'll base their impressions on previous experience, both of
telecommuting in general and of you in particular. From the
managerial viewpoint, it makes sense to allow regular telecommuting
only after someone has demonstrated trustworthiness. It's no good
countering with abstract arguments that telecommuting can be highly
efficient; you have to prove that *you* can be efficient as a
telecommuter. Usually, that takes time. You also have to accomodate
the need for live contact with other members of your team. Jealousy
defending telecommuting as your right isn't going to do you any good
unless you're indispensable - and, even in a good job market (which,
possibly, we no longer have), very few people are.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
Director of Marketing and Communications, Progeny Linux Systems
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux

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