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Old 11-03-2014, 07:45 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Despite all the hoopla about telecommuting, there are really very few jobs, and very few people, for whom 100% telecommuting is possible.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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My understanding is interest in telecommuting has kind of peaked, and employers are beginning to phase it out in many cases.

The reason is simple - it's been found that people don't work as hard when working from home. There are of course individual exceptions, but most people, when outside of the peer pressure of an office environment simply don't focus on their work as much. They take longer breaks and get more distracted.

There are exceptions of course. People in quasi-independent work, like contractors and those on commission, can be trusted to work from home more, because they still have a financial incentive to work hard even if no one is directly managing them. And of course companies have no problem with people telecommuting overtime hours. But bosses generally don't want the average white-collar worker to be in their house on their computer with no supervision.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:48 PM
 
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More likely employees will work from home one or two days a week. It's already the case many places. Metra, Chicago's commuter rail agency, found that fewer monthly and more ten-rides are being sold and, though daily ridership averages 150K, about 450k consider themselves regular riders. If you don't need to go downtown, or wherever your office is, every day; you don't need to live within 20 minutes. 90 minutes may be acceptable twice a week. Another impact has been on commuter parking lots. Many that require a monthly or quarterly payment are oversold, yet have empty spaces most every day.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
My understanding is interest in telecommuting has kind of peaked, and employers are beginning to phase it out in many cases.

The reason is simple - it's been found that people don't work as hard when working from home. There are of course individual exceptions, but most people, when outside of the peer pressure of an office environment simply don't focus on their work as much. They take longer breaks and get more distracted.

There are exceptions of course. People in quasi-independent work, like contractors and those on commission, can be trusted to work from home more, because they still have a financial incentive to work hard even if no one is directly managing them. And of course companies have no problem with people telecommuting overtime hours. But bosses generally don't want the average white-collar worker to be in their house on their computer with no supervision.
It is because there are many managers who do not understand the concept of objective performance measurements, because this would interfere with their favoritism they like to display in the work place. The constant need for many managers to focus on unmeasurable standards is because really, it is still about who you know and how well you are liked, objective measurements, like the kind needed for telework, would make this game impossible to play.

Also, many jobs are not/should not be a telework position, it is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and it just does not work out.

People are an issue as well, but with proper performance measurements, this issue would be resolved, and hiring of the right people could take place, but again, this would interfere with the favoritism many managers like to have with subordinates.

Really, who in the heck would want an employee working for you that you think cannot perform just as well teleworking as in in the office?

I am curious to even know how in the heck they know teleworkers are not performing as much, considering most have basically horrible performance tracking in the first place.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:28 PM
 
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I don't think enough people work from home full-time for this to make a difference in how cities are planned out.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:25 PM
 
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The biggest impact has been to commercial corporate type real estate. All the major corporations are using 'alternate work strategies to basically reduce real estate costs (the second biggest cost expense to corps after human labor). It generally goes through a cycle of physical space allotment downsizing. This from an urban planning perspective means old layout historic (but functionally obsolete buildings with often good bones and architectural significance) can be readily converted to unique housing which millennial generation and empty nesters find of interest due to its character and proximity to the amenities options which many urban centers provide.

Many urban cities (and near neighborhoods with well connected transportation systems are having massive repurposing efforts of historic but functionally obsolete buildings. It's actually a great thing serving to revive old underused and abandoned properties. Finally, the ability to telecommute whether full or part time while low then serves the function of providing corporations a vehicle by which to accelerate the physical space contraction while in some cases (depending on the industry and its nature toward collaboration) improving the overall environment. Some industries for various reasons confidentiality / security concerns may not be able to do so.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:10 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Miami already sees the impact of telecommuting in that there are lots of people in the Miami area who have brought their jobs with them and telecommute. I'm one of them. Some of us are more full time while others are completely seasonal. The seasonal telecommuter introduces a new kind of snowbird instead of just the retired kind. The effects of telecommuting on Miami go beyond economics. There's an entire underground scene of professionals here that anyone has yet to tap. The seasonal telecommuters aren't counted in Miami's stats if they do not count Florida as their residency and they remain somewhat invisible. This is partially due to the culture here where not many people here ask you what you do for a living. I remember once when I was out with friends, well....acquaintances, and had to end the evening pretty early by Miami standards because I had an early morning meeting with Europe. Upon making that statement, I got a surprised response and an "oh, you work?" question.
I have now made a point of inquiring about peoples' work and can't tell you how many times I meet interesting people doing very interesting work that nobody seems to know about. Much of this interesting work is by full time or seasonal telecommuters who's jobs are around the World.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:35 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,002 posts, read 102,592,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxus View Post
It is because there are many managers who do not understand the concept of objective performance measurements, because this would interfere with their favoritism they like to display in the work place. The constant need for many managers to focus on unmeasurable standards is because really, it is still about who you know and how well you are liked, objective measurements, like the kind needed for telework, would make this game impossible to play.

Also, many jobs are not/should not be a telework position, it is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, and it just does not work out.

People are an issue as well, but with proper performance measurements, this issue would be resolved, and hiring of the right people could take place, but again, this would interfere with the favoritism many managers like to have with subordinates.

Really, who in the heck would want an employee working for you that you think cannot perform just as well teleworking as in in the office?

I am curious to even know how in the heck they know teleworkers are not performing as much, considering most have basically horrible performance tracking in the first place.
My spouse has always been able to do some work remotely. When he was recovering from surgery last winter, he tried to do more from home and found it difficult. You have to ask "Person A" something, and he in turn has to ask "Person B". B in turn has to ask you just what you meant. Etc. What would take 10 minutes in the office takes an hour online. That's what he said anyway. In healthcare, which I do, it's impossible to work off-site. I'm not about to set up a clinic in my house!
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Despite all the hoopla about telecommuting, there are really very few jobs, and very few people, for whom 100% telecommuting is possible.
I don't know about 100% telecommuting as in you work from home each and every day. But there are certainly jobs where you could telecommute two to three times per week. My friend works for a federal contractor in the DC area and only goes into the office a few times per month. It depends on the nature of the work.

A lot of the office jobs in central business districts don't require a daily physical presence. Most entry level positions at investment banks in Manhattan involve assembling spreadsheets and doing internet research. Junior positions at large law firms involve reviewing emails and documents on laptops, redacting certain documents, etc. There's really no reason to have to come into the office every day to perform such menial, mind-numbing work.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,266 posts, read 26,242,183 times
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Originally Posted by gottaq View Post
What impact will telecommuting have on cities? Down the road many jobs can be done from home, and people may not have to report to work. What will this mean for economic hubs such as NYC and Chicago? They may lose some of their dominance, as people don't need to live in these cities for jobs anymore, they can live anywhere. and will small cities make a comeback, as people move in to these places while working from home?
Telecommuting is one of the reasons WMATA cited for its decline in ridership.

Decline in Metro commuters prompts concerns for Washington real estate - The Washington Post

If it became a big thing where 35% of the federal workforce telecommuted, it would have a major impact on WMATA's revenues.
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