(July) Depending on whom you ask, telecommuting is either a huge boon to productivity, or else it’s the most over-hyped waste of time ever. Either way, there’s no shortage of opinion.One of the reasons we argue about telecommuting is that we don’t all define it the same way. Is it one employee working at home during a snowstorm? Or a group of employees who work full time out of home ofices? Is it knowledge workers? Or is it the executives to whom the knowledge workers report? Can everyone telecommute, or only certain types of employees?
According to James McCloskey, senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group (www.infotech.com), we need to be comfortable with a certain degree of ambiguity when it comes to the term. “Telecommuting is some point on a set of points on a spectrum of remote working,” he notes. “Is telecommuting your primary function, in which case maybe we call it telework? Is it something you do with a tablet, smartphone, or laptop over Wi-Fi or 4G or what-have-you?”
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