While reading Eric Wise’s post, “How to handle the ‘dreaded salary history’ question“, this sentence caught my attention:
“I also make note of any perks like telecommute days, education, conferences, bonuses received, etc since they all affect what I’m willing to accept as compensation.”
One of the commenters (Bryan) followed up with:
“why should telecommute/education/conferences be a perk/compensation?
I know it’s “normal” to see them as perks… and i’ve always considered them as such, but somehow, meditating on that concept from a different angle, i do think that those should be non-negotiables since they add tremendous value to the company ultimately…”
I have to agree with Bryan — Why should telecommuting be a “perk” and not a normal method of doing business? This is 2006 (soon to be 2007) after all. We have the technology to support remote workers, so why don’t more employers
allow for it? To be honest, since around 1995, I have had the opportunity to telecommute at every job I’ve worked. All I needed back then was a dial-up connection and I was good-to-go. The first company I worked for let me work
from home 3 weeks out of each month (they were about 1.5 – 2 hours away). The fourth week they’d put me up in a nice hotel so I could work in the office. They also supplied me with a decent laptop. These days we have broadband
connections, remote desktops, VoIP and more.
I understand that some amount of time spent on-site can be a good thing, but IMO, it’s not absolutely necessary. Hell, from 2001 until just recently, my primary contract involved working on an application for a company in Pennsylvania. I
spoke to many of them on the phone, exchanged emails, chatted via IM, but never spent a minute on-site.
Yea, I know….it’s a control issue. If someone is sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, the employer can do a better job of monitoring them to make sure things are getting done. I don’t necessarily buy that argument though. If tasks are being completed on time, if emails are being answered and phone calls returned, who cares where the work is being performed?
Anyone have any thoughts on this subject?