Telecommuting. Talk to any manager in America, and odds are that they have an opinion on the topic. They love it for their people. They hate it for their people. They love it for themselves, but hate it for their people ("Fred, I’m denying your request to telecommute, because it’s bad for your career at Innotech. Call me on my cell and we can discuss, and if you don’t get me, call me at the home number. Bad cell coverage in my basement").
So the opinions are many on the topic of telecommuting. For me, I’ve crafted mine over the last year and come down firmly on the side of balanced telecommuting. Get some days at home and crank out the productivity on projects and work not requiring people. Then get some days in the office to get the all important face time, but don’t expect that you’ll be as productive in the office as you are at home.
Know what I mean? Of course you do, you’re in the office and Marge just dropped by to chat in your door and you lost 30 minutes you are never going to recover. More on your habitual office slacking from the Chicago Tribune:
"Before Chicagoans turn up their noses at garbage workers accused of slacking off, they need to ask whether their own office conduct could pass the smell test.
City garbage crews waste an average of two hours and three minutes a day, according to a scathing report released Wednesday by the Chicago inspector general’s office. By comparison, American workers acknowledged frittering away an average of 1 hour and 42 minutes daily in a 2007 Salary.com survey.
And that’s just what they admitted to doing.
The inspector general’s report describes a few sanitation workers engaging in behavior such as drinking beer while on the clock and urinating in the street. The findings also include less-egregious acts such as running errands during the workday, taking extended lunch breaks and socializing.
It’s the attention to minor offenses that raises eyebrows among productivity experts. They say the inspector general would be hard-pressed to find an American office in which workers don’t tackle personal chores on company time or begin their morning chit-chatting."
No surprises there, but I’m going to grab onto the "going to the bathroom" theme. I was talking to one of our Directors a few days ago, and we started talking about how telecommuting was going for his team. He noted the morale boost it had provided, as well as a productivity boost, mentioning that one of his managers indicated in a continuing theme of working at home, that he would note that he needed to go to the bathroom, then remember the same need one hour later. He just kept working.
That sounds good for productivity, but probably bad for the health plan in some way. Interesting that sanitation workers in the study spent their time at work going to the bathroom in inappropriate places, while telecommuters will delay going to the bathroom in an effort to remain productive.
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.