Iím writing this as I sit on the beach in Delaware, watching the kids jump in the waves and mount a mammoth construction project in the sand. More than one adult strolling by has asked whether I can get wireless Internet. (Answer: yes, but itís a rotten signal.)
The technology exists for many of us to work anywhere, so why donít more of us indulge? One answer comes in a survey by Steelcase, a maker of office equipment. While almost half of survey takers had permission to telecommute, less than a third took advantage of the benefit, largely because they worried it would hurt their chances at advancement.
Anyone who telecommutes on a regular basis should make an extra effort to connect with co-workers and managers, to make up for the lack of casual office contact. But I think declining a benefit that would help you personally is foolish. In the end, wouldnít you only want to be employed by a company that looks favorably on workers using the available technology to be more efficient, productive, and balanced?
That said, virtual work is a double-edged sword. It has the potential to bring your job into every crevice of your life. Take me, for instance, worried about getting my laptop sandy instead of joining my kids in play. I guess itís time to put my work down and help with that sandcastle.
Photo by Katherine Lewis