Some companies rethink the telecommuting trend. Should the home based worker be concerned?
A few big promoters of home-based and mobile-office work arrangements, including AT&T, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and parts of the federal government, have called some home-based workers back to the office, causing some to quit. The callbacks are small and don’t reflect a full retrenchment, but the factors at work - a push to consolidate operations, and the notion that teamwork improves when people work face-to-face - suggest other employers might follow suit as recession clouds loom.
It is a bit surprising to us that the reasons for the callbacks slap directly in the face of what most of these companies actually provide in their products. Collaboration for one. We are talking about three companies, leaders in technology. Using the tools designed, marketed and sold by these companies, every telecommuter has the ability to collaborate with co-workers. And using technology, every telecommuter can hold a face to face with other co-workers via web based meetings.
And, why would consolidate operations be a good reason to callback telecommuting workers? Would calling back workers slap in the face the idea of saving overhead and eliminating unnecessary cost? The Home Office Warrior thinks so.
Hopefully, this is a short term shift in the trend and these companies who in the past have been big supporters of telecommuting will come back around. In the meantime, here are some tips on keeping that work-at-home gig.
- Perform Well.
- Increase your visibility.
- Make an effort to collaborate.
Take the tools available to you, with the technology available to you and be a continued champion of telecommuting. There is no reason this should not be a short term trend.