Telecommuting is the new order of work

People who prefer to telecommute have been called names: Anti-social - in that they don’t want to mix with co-workers, are lazy, and uncommitted to their job.

People who prefer to telecommute have been called names: Anti-social – in that they don’t want to mix with co-workers, are lazy, and uncommitted to their job.

We should have started off with the definition though – of telecommuting.

Officially it refers to the practice of formally employed people doing their employers’ work from home, rather than the designated office. That is the official meaning. In practice, however, telecommuters do not have to strictly work from home. In fact, they have been known to work from anywhere they can plug in their lap tops and other portable devices –preferably with free Wi-Fi connection.

What this means is that some of the people who make up that detestable crowd of free Wi-Fi-seeking hotel and restaurant and Café clients are actually telecommuters; people who prefer to do their boss’s work while sipping sparingly on a Coke at a coffee shop, the Coke acting as the password to the free internet connection. That is the reason few telecommuters working from coffee shops actually go in for coffee, which is a more expensive way to gain access to said free Wi-Fi.

That said, the bulk of telecommuting is done from the comfort of homes.

One thing I know about this trend is that it is fast-growing, especially among the younger generation of corporate workers who have been raised in an era of telecommunication. The other thing to know about telecommuting is that most bosses are yet to expressly approve of it. In other cases, they are out rightly hostile to it.

Early in 2013, a widely leaked internal memo from Yahoo!’s Human Resources department introduced new company rules in which all employees would have to turn up for work in office unless they had a good excuse.

It appeared that Marissa Mayer, the then newly appointed CEO at Yahoo! was on a mission to squeeze more work from the Yahoos she led.

But forcing employees to office is not the best way to squeeze more work out of them. Except, of course, if the employee works man-hours, like a security guard.

Working from home is good in the sense that workers spend less time exchanging useless pleasantries with co-workers. It also slashes a company’s costs on things like coffee, sugar, biscuits and doughnuts for employees’ tea breaks.

If anything, a lot of people don’t put in any work at all while in the office.

In most modern offices today, as much as half of the internet bandwidth is eaten up by employees downloading music and watching YouTube videos.

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