Teleworking: Good thing, bad thing?

When is the last time you had coffee with a colleague? Or lunch?

When you communicate with the boss does he or she clearly prefer email or a text to an eyeball-to-eyeball talk?

When you dress for work it is standard business attire or a T-shirt and sweats?

Has teleworking peaked? Are a growing number of companies — and federal agencies — calling people back to the office? Or will many, many more people be working from home in the years ahead?

Teleworking is one of those things people feel strongly about. People who love it love it. They say it helps the Earth (less traffic, fewer jams). And makes them more productive. And happier when doing their jobs.

Opponents believe, among other things, that it is creating a workforce that is antisocial and isolated. For example check out this comment who thought the “Dark Side of Teleworking” article was right on target:

“I agree with the the comments of your reader Mike M.  He said that it is important that millennials rub elbows with baby boomers frequently. I also think millennials and baby boomers and everything in between, should rub elbows on a regular basis.

“Mike’s office is very much different than ours. We recently moved into a new building, and everyone got a new office space. One lady who has been on permanent telework scheduled for years, got an office. And she selected a window office. Because of how the new building was allocated, even though I and some others are ‘senior’ (according to the collective bargaining agreement) we wound up with non-window offices. My ‘cave’ is slightly larger than half of what my (non-window) office was in the old building. In the roughly two years since we have been in the new office, I think the ‘permanent’ teleworker has been in her office three times. (I’ve only seen three times, but I am on AWS). And we have about a dozen offices of convenience where folks from the main building can still work if they have to come out to our building. If this sound a bit strange, weird, or unfair, it seems the collective bargaining agreement requires it. Or managements interpretation and implementation of the collective bargaining agreement requires it. “ Henry E.

“I can’t say enough about being able to telework, it’s made life much easier for me. I’m the agency classification specialist (the only one for my agency) and when I’m in the office, I’m dealing with people visiting my cubicle asking things like, ‘How do I request a desk audit?’ or ‘Why isn’t my worker bee position graded higher?’ When I’m at home, it’s quiet, I don’t get interrupted, I don’t forward my office phone, but I do have a message on my email and phone that say, ‘Good morning, today is XXXX and I am teleworking. Please contact me via email at XXX, have a great day!’)

“I try and telework two days a week. I say try because as the one and only classifier, sometimes they feel the need to see my sparkling smile in meetings. But on the days they don’t, it’s very nice to roll out of bed, make my coffee and start working in an environment that includes my pups and my cat and aside from the occasional rub against the leg for chin scratches, I get so much more done during my day and usually extend my day (at no cost for overtime) as well because I’m on a roll! You see, I love what I do so working a little over my prescribed time isn’t a big deal for me, I enjoy the progress I can make when I’m by myself and able to just do the work.

“Let’s not even discuss that I save on gas and food — it’s 26.6 miles door-to-door. 26.6 x 4 = 106.4 per week I’m not putting on my minivan, that’s a savings of 5 gallons of gas plus wear and tear on the tires. My building (the Mark Center) has a cafeteria with a salad bar that charges by the pound — that’s a savings of $12 for both days (I like a hardy salad!); not buying coffee for two days — savings of $4.80. And the sanity check I get from being able to listen to slow jazz and the birds outside my window when I’m home — that’s worth everything.

“All in all, I can’t think of a con for this — my work is trackable so questioning whether or not things get done is easy for my boss.” Dixie

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The world’s largest office desk offers 1,100 feet of working space.

Source: Daily Mail

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