Telecommuting - yes or no

Jeff De Luca's picture

Here's an interesting article on a decision by HP to end telecommuting for part of its workforce.

What's been even more interesting is to read some of the discussion threads about this article around the net.

There's no one right answer here for all cases. There are some roles and some people and some companies for which telecommuting makes a lot of sense and works. And there are others where it doesn't.

Aside from the people and process concerns, I find tools (technology) to be a huge problem here (still). Collaboration tools need to improve significantly - shared whiteboards, shared editors, shared diagrammers, chat and voice tools, and so on, all need to get much better and they need to be more aware of the recording and subsequent publishing needs (this includes classification and tagging for example). There's the issue of firewall and NAT traversal as well.

There's a lot of pain here for vendors to provide relief for...

Finally, and all too expected, there's been some kneejerk negative reactions to the HP article from some so-called Agilists. "Of course we can work remotely." Interesting isn't it that Agile says we should ideally be co-located with the users but some are now saying that the programmers themselves don't need to be co-located with each other. Hmmm... :? :D