Re: The telecommuting myth

Subject: Re: The telecommuting myth
From: Chuck Petch <rcp1 -at- OSI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 16:46:57 -0700


As a technical publications manager, I have found telecommuting greatly
increases productivity. Eight of the nine writers reporting to me
telecommute at least one day per week, and several do so for up to three
days per week. There are occasional communication problems when I need
someone to participate in an ad hoc meeting and they can't because
they're at home, but the minor inconveniences are more than paid for by
the high productivity of the team, as measured by number of projects
completed, deadlines met, and page counts. I'm not sure how much stock
should be put into page counts, but our current average of 3 new pages
and 2.5 revised pages per writer per day is an astonishing level of
productivity compared to other non-telecommuting departments I have
managed in the past.

All of the writers tell me they are able to concentrate better at home,
in contrast to the busy, noisy, social atmosphere at work. If there was
any doubt about this, it was erased in my mind when I suggested to a
writer with lower than expected productivity that he try telecommuting.
I had observed that he had a lot of business associates who would drop
by his office to talk about business and would then segue into personal
matters and stay longer than they should. As soon as he began
telecommuting, his productivity shot upward and has remained constantly
high ever since. He told me that being able to focus without
interruptions at home is what made all the difference for him.

Our lone non-telecommuting writer says he can't concentrate at home, so
he is one of those for whom telecommuting doesn't work. It's not the
answer for everyone, but for many writers, it can be a major advantage.

Chuck Petch
Objective Systems Integrators

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