The long economic slump in technology has put many of the issues behind telecommuting and “telework” — working at home, a satellite office, or on the road — on the shelf. Organizations forced to slash staffing costs are more tied up with figuring out who to lay off than trying to retain existing employees with enticements to work from home. However, as the surge in IT outsourcing demonstrates, more and more IT jobs can be performed remotely, in the U.S. or offshore. But, is letting IT staff work from home — especially administrative and support people — a good move? What IT tasks are better done on site?
“After a company realizes it is possible to do an IT support job from a remote location, the next step may be to wring out even more costs — like the cost of labor. If a company can get a database programmer in Korea for $10,000 a year, why should it pay someone in the U.S. $70,000 a year? “Telecommuting makes outsourcing a much more likely outcome”.
Does that mean IT workers should be wary when offered the possibility of telecommuting? Not really. It just as well might indicate your value to the employer. Many companies that once offered telecommuting to a wide swath of their workforce for retention purposes now offer it only to the top 20 percent of their employees. “They want to hang onto the key people more than ever. ”
For the employee, telecommuting “is fine for a nascent stage in someone's career,” “but then, eventually, they will want to re-enter corporate life, especially during an economic downturn when they will want to maintain a high level of visibility.”
complete story by Vincent Ryan and Mark Long NewsFactor Network December 9