Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, an argument is being made to adopt a "work-at-home" policy for certain fields of business. The Employee saves on gas. The company saves on electricity & maintenance costs for the office. The argument makes sense.
At work you typically:
  1. Check your email
  2. Respond to your emails
  3. Work on your presentation (This may involve Research)
  4. Meet with your client
  5. Make a phone call to other departments of your office
  6. Have a short meeting with your boss
  7. Meet with your team to discuss a particularly difficult problem
Numbers 1-3 can now be done at home due to the fact that now almost all homes have computers & internet access. Numbers 4-7 are more particularly possible because of the advent of video conferencing and due to the fact that practically everyone has a mobile phone, which means that they can be reached anywhere, anytime.
The purpose of having an office is to provide us a place to do work & be contacted. Technology allows us to be contacted anywhere and thus a centralized place to do work is no longer necessary.

1 comment:

Catherine Drilon said...

Granted that an employee will save some money by not going to an office and just working at home, what about the increase in expenses necessary for the continuous use of these technologies? It would probably fall on the employer right? Won't the constant need to supply internet connections, cellphone or telephone bills, not to mention the expense necessary to fix them when they fail to function properly, lead to more expense in the long run? At the same time, I think that it may lead to questions regarding accountability with respect to possible "abuse" of these privileges or questions of whether or not the employee himself is responsible for his output, which can easily be passed on to someone else when no one is watching. And how will the employer be able to sufficiently evaluate the efficiency or productivity of the worker? While I agree with you to a certain extent, I think that a centralized place to work is needed since you can't dispense with interaction or the necessary observations that one can only get by "seeing" people work in the office.