Balancing act: Survey says telecommuting threatens career growth

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  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    May 13, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    I have been in the software field for years. When I worked in Silicon Valley, I heard a story (possibly an urban legend, but maybe not) about a software startup that some Russians had founded. They forced all the software developers to sit in a single large room with no cubicles or partitions, just a small workspace big enough for your computer. If a worker had a question or problem, he or she would swivel around and ask some nearby person, and the problem would be resolved in a moment. According to the story, the city (Cupertino, San Jose, whatever...) did an inspection and said that the office wasn't big enough for all those workers. So the Russian owners leased the 2nd floor of the building but kept it vacant so all the workers could continue to work together in the same room (the total office area divided by the number of workers was now within city regulations). That's how much the owners valued real-time collaboration with people physically present just a few feet away. I emphasize that this is just a story that I heard several times, but I can easily see this happening.

  • trustmeiknow Salt Lake City, UT
    May 11, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    Telecommuting makes sense. Why be silly about the facts? Seriously the business world can be a joke. If it works, it works. Quit micromanaging people and let them focus on objectives.

  • SMadiuk Industry, CA
    May 9, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    There are PLENTY of tools now to make remote collaboration a breeze, much more so than even five years ago. Dropbox, Google Docs, Google Hangouts, Skype, screen sharing like, productivity measurement tools like MySammy, remote time card iPhone apps, the good ol' fashioned Terminal Server or GotomyPC. Not to mention with smartphones and Blackberries, people are almost always at the employers' beck and call anyway. Considering studies show that most telecommuters put in more hours of work than office staff, maybe one day employees will all be longing for the days when they could actually leave work at work