Telecommuting: Got Motivation?

Over half (51%) of CIOs and top leaders dislike telecommuting.  See the CIO Insight article below.  If I were asked, I’d favor it… but only under certain circumstances.


I’ve telecommuted for the past 15 years, and it has worked great for me.  My next-door neighbor, Dean, is an IT manager, and he works from home three days a week.  With a 100-mile RT commute, that’s no surprise.  Personally, I wouldn’t work fifty miles from my work unless they paid me a lot of money!

But telecommuting doesn’t work for everybody.  Unfortunately, a lot of people suffer from a lack of self-motivation.  I personally don’t, except at about 4 PM on Friday afternoons.  Working from home can be a lonely proposition, especially if your family is away, or if you have no family.  What keeps the motor running?  Why work?  You have to be personally vested in your project team’s success.  You have to love it so much you’ll split rails to get your work done.  In our affluent society, that’s not normally the case.

Another problem: project teams can’t easily meet.  Yes, there’s telephone, email, and GotoMeeting, but are you using those tools?  Does your team meet regularly?  And if so, are you just a laptop screen on a conference room table?  Where’s the group dynamic?

I favor telecommuting when there are solid, measureable heads-down project goals, or when employees are financially vested in the project.