Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is telecommuting a stellar commute?

Telecommuting. It's the Holy Grail of the knowledge worker, but does the reality live up to the dream? The answer depends on many things -- how much coffee I've had, how well my technology is functioning, whether or not I'm getting the feeling like I'll never be promoted again -- well you get the idea.

My impression of what telecommuting is really like varies day-by-day, but after doing six months (hard) time in my slippers, I feel like I've gained some insight into the ups and downs of PJ life. Won't you join me as I regale you with tales of bulging capacitors in remote computers, co-worker misapprehensions about what it is I do all day, dogs barking during videoconferences, and much, much more.

And for the record:

1. No, I don't actually wear PJs in my office*.

2. Yes, I do routinely work in slippers. In fact, I've put all my shoes on the top shelf in the closet because I don't need easy access to them.

3. No, I'm not enjoying the extra time with the kids because I pay for a babysitter. When the babysitter was sick, I took family sick leave, just like I would do if I worked in the real office. And I did some work with the baby sitting on my lap to try and get something done because my deadlines are pressing on me like a two year old squirming on my lap.

* Okay, I did wear my PJs to do some work, but it was when I was on "vacation" and had to duck into the office for a few hours every day because it was the end of the tax year and things were really rockin' on some of the sites I adminster. But they were very office-appropriate PJs, neatly pressed, I assure you. I could probably wear them to the real office on casual Friday. If it weren't 2,000 miles and two time zones away, I'd do it too. Really.

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