Balancing act: Telecommuting controversy rages on

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013 8:30 a.m. MDT

However, several other online comments expressed support for the idea of exchanging some pay for flexibility.

"I think if I had kids in daycare, I'd take a pay cut and work from home instead of paying the thousands a year for someone else to look after them, but I agree with the other comments that working from home would probably lower my productivity," wrote one reader.

Another reader wrote that, in six years of working from home, he found he gets more work done "since I don't have to put up with politics and drama."

"Since I am more productive at home instead of the office, I should get an increase in my salary, not a reduction simply because my backside isn't warming a chair within visual range of my boss."

Now there's an idea. How hard would it be to convince a boss to pay you more for staying out of the office? Hmmm.

Another reader wrote that whether someone is allowed to work from home depends on expectations of productivity.

"I work from home, and my expectations are task-oriented and take a minimum amount of time to complete," this reader wrote. "In some ways I work harder than in an office, because I can't chat with coworkers, and there aren't any short breaks built in like before.

"Because I'm on salary, I have to work pretty hard to finish my assigned tasks in a regular 40 hours. It is an unspoken expectation that my contract will not be renewed each year if I do not complete quality work either."

This reader actually does get paid less than counterparts in the same field, "but to me having the flexibility and lack of commute that comes from working from home is well worth it. I miss the face-to-face relationships I can have with coworkers, but at the same time deal with a lot less politics. There are definite pros/cons, but I'm happy with it."

I think we can all agree that this issue can be complicated for both company executives and workers. However, I still believe it's worth the business community's time and effort to figure out what makes sense.

I hope examples of big companies deciding to bring people out of their homes and back to offices doesn't derail the telecommuting trend entirely. Regardless of the challenges involved, I'm certain that would be a mistake.

What do you think? Do you support Yahoo, HP and other companies that are deciding to end telecommuting for employees? Or do you feel that flexible work options should still be available in certain situations?

Please send me your ideas, and I may use some of your comments in a future column. After all, if recent history is any indication, this issue isn't going away anytime soon.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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