Friday, February 29, 2008

Back to the office for homeworkers?

Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal reports on the recent trend for major companies (AT&T, Intel, Hewlett-Packard) to insist on homeworkers coming back into the main office, either full time or as good as. However in a spirit of optimism, she also posts a very useful section 'Some tips on keeping a work-at-home gig':
• Perform well. In explaining the callbacks at Hewlett-Packard, Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said last year that telecommuting "had gotten applied more broadly than really made sense," and would be limited to "people who are proficient and who've shown they can perform over time." Make sure measurable objectives are set for your job, then meet them.
• Increase your visibility. One behavior sure to irk managers is to use work-at-home freedom to move to a location so remote, such as Hawaii, that travel costs soar. Although Intel disputes the assertion, people familiar with the callbacks there cite such abuses as a factor. Wherever you're located, find ways to remain visible.
• Make an effort to collaborate. Elliott Masie, head of the Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., research organization, says many younger managers are comfortable collaborating online. But as pressures mount, older managers may revert to the notion that to build teamwork, "it's important for everybody to sit around and sing 'Kumbaya' together," he says. It may be wise to join that chorus.
Thanks to Bill Kratz for the alert.

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