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As a worker — specifically, a software developer — I’ve found that telecommuting provides the best results. The distractions of the home pale in comparison to the distractions of the office. Also, it makes me happy. Always has. That’s what’s really important, anyway.

As a manager — specifically, a manager of software developers — I’ve found that telecommuting provides the best results. Software developers are savvy and they’ll deliver the goods if you show them respect and give them the freedom to work the way they know is best for them.

That’s my anecdotal support for telecommuting, which is great and all, but hardly necessary given the real evidence showing how awesome working from home can be. Hell, if you take it from this study, apparently you can actually squeeze more hours out of your telecommuters if you’re that kind of boss. You jerk.

Jackie Chan - WTFIt’s been roughly 20 years since the internet became widely available, but the business landscape is still largely run by fools who think the old ass-in-chair paradigm of the Industrial Era applies to 100% of the workforce. It doesn’t, and anyone can see that. But just when it seemed we were beginning to make some progress in the right direction, the most bizarre thing happened: Yahoo! dropped a bombshell on its employees and the world by telling all its remote workers they were no longer remote workers.

You might think a company that does the vast majority of its business online would be hip to telecommuting, but apparently you’d be wrong. Very shortly after, Best Buy did the same thing to its office workers. Both companies said it was to improve “collaboration” and all that, but folks didn’t buy it. Claiming that workers have to share a close physical proximity with one another in order to accomplish stuff is plain ridiculous. There was immediate speculation that telecommuters were being made into scapegoats for the failing companies.

moar like Smeghead Whitman, am i rite?

moar like Smeghead Whitman, am i rite?

Fast forward to today, when HP became the latest troubled enterprise to screw its remote workers. See, now I’m concerned. If you get enough of these well-known corporations doing this, even though it’s just a tactic to shush angry investors, other companies will follow suit because it’s the current trend in personnel management. Never mind that it’s just a way to distract from the real problems the organization faces… think how much better we’ll be when we drag all these happy, productive people into the office where they will most likely be neither happy nor productive! Better yet, if they can’t or won’t comply with the new directive, who can blame us if we have to perform a — gasp — reduction in force!

You know what’s really ironic about the HP thing? This. (Update: Nice try, HP. I saved a copy in case you took yours down!)