Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten Myths about Telecommuting, Busted!

I am fortunate enough to telecommute to my job for the past five years. Since I often get asked questions about the arrangement, these answers should help.

Ten Myths About Telecommuters, Busted!

1.   Telecommuters throw in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher in lieu of water cooler breaks.
False. It’s bad enough keeping the stuff to do at work straight instead of having to mix it with Tide or Ajax.

2.   Telecommuters get to work in their PJs.
There is a chance the webcam could suddenly demonstrate owl-like motor tendencies and, you know, air your wares to an unintended audience. Most of us play it safe by wearing work clothes to “work.”

3.   Telecommuters are antisocial hermits because they are cut off from all human interaction.
If you label water cooler small talk “human interaction,” guilty as charged. But most of us have friends we hang out with regularly—time spent precisely because we were not caught in long, white-knuckled commutes during the day.

4.   Telecommuters work all the time—24/7.
False again. Maintaining a strict work schedule is essential to one’s sanity. Besides, no time for laundry means no time for work clothes. In which case, revisit point #2 above.

5.   Telecommuters just don’t work at all.
As tempting at that proposition might be, no work output = no job.

6.   Telecommuters are not very productive.
Since most of us recognize that telecommuting is still a privilege, we try not to abuse it. Time spent watching cats playing piano on YouTube is kept to a minimum. It’s surprising how much time is also saved by not having to linger at a water cooler or take frequent bathroom breaks.

7.   A telecommuter is available to take my dog out for his daily constitutional.
Even if telecommuters work from home, the key word here is “work.” We’re happy to come to the rescue and help when needed. But as much as we love Spot, it’s hard to break away and oblige every single day. Or maybe there is some truth to #3.

8.   Telecommuters have wild flings with the mailman.
False again. Work gets in the way. Besides, mailmen are scared of dogs. Also see #5 above.

9.    There is absolutely nothing about a daily commute that telecommuters miss.
This is very, very, very nearly true. We definitely do not miss the endless drives in snow and rain. The hour-long commutes. The mind-numbing fund drives on NPR. But we do miss the transition that a drive allows from work matters to home matters. Telecommuters are often called upon to switch gears from work to bake sales in a span of 30 seconds—no easy task.

10.  Without Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts, telecommuters have to make do with bad, watery coffee.
Wrong. Money saved on gas in the first year alone is more than enough to invest in a good personal cappuccino machine.

No comments:

Post a Comment