Friday, September 28, 2012

On Telecommuting

For the next few weeks, I'll be telecommuting most days as our office areas undergo some construction. I could conceivably still work there, but I'm guessing that the noise and mess will make a crowded office situation still worse for everyone, so I sent the lads home.

It feels weird.

I feel like a kid who's playing hooky from school, scared that mom will come home and find the chips and sodas all over the coffee table and Cartoon Network on the TV. That's not the reality, of course. I find myself getting to work way earlier than I ever did when I was driving in since my computer is right downstairs. The work environment is much more productive, too and I'm finally attacking things that required long-term thought and concentration.

Aside from the strangeness of the thing, the biggest thing I've picked up over the last few days is the need for chat. I'm a manager and even when in the office, I've not done a good job of staying connected with everyone. The fact that I could walk over and see someone removed the urgency from actually doing so. Now that I'm far away, I want that same ability and chat is the answer. Not everyone has it.

Yesterday, I did a 12-round email exchange with one of my folks that lasted a couple of hours. I did email instead of a phone call as I needed time to address each round, so a phone call wouldn't have worked well for me. Had we been on chat, it would have lasted 10 minutes, tops. At the same time, I would have felt like I was connected to that person and not so distant. You can't trade quips with someone over email while you work something out. Chat is much more human.

Aside from that, I'm loving the telecommuting. The Catican Guards love having me around and our Maximum Leader spent some time yesterday snoozing right next to me. I could get used to this.


tim eisele said...

The one thing that prevents me from doing telecommuting is that my daughters are both of the age where Daddy is their favorite toy, and when I'm home they want me to do everything with them. And it's hard to write technical papers while playing "My Little Pony" with a 4-year-old.

Although, actually I practically telecommute even though I am at work. My office is in a different building from the rest of my department, so aside from a couple of daily pilgrimages to the other building, I am mostly isolated and communicating with everyone else by email.

K T Cat said...

LOL! I'm about 12 years ahead of you. My daughter loves me, but she'd die from mortification if we played My Little Pony.

I like your thought about practically telecommuting. I thought of that yesterday while I worked. What I was finding here at home would be the same thing if I was in a different building from the troops. Which I was for quite some time.

Mostly Nothing said...

I won't telecommute in the summer when others are home, unless it's just a half day. Otherwise, it's too loud, drums, bass, guitar, etc. Too many distractions. We have a bunch of people in my group that telecommute all the time, but it's not for me. I get myself distracted at home.
I'm definitely more productive in the office.
I hate IM chat. I'm trying to work on something, and a window pops up on my screen and I'm supposed to drop everything and work on your problem. Also, at work, I work on my Linux desktop most of the time and only remote desktop into the corporate Windows box. And that screen is usually on my other desktop, so I miss most chats.