January 04, 2007

The Disconnected Worker

Telecommuting, working from home - it's old hat by now to allow people to work from home if they don't need to be in the office to perform their duties. It's a great concept, but is it causing a new problem?

What do I mean by a disconnected worker? Just today I was discussing a problem with a coworker. Or, rather, he was discussing it with me. I didn't offer him much help in solving his problem other than the random clarifying question, but he solved the problem on his own while I was listening to him. As I left his office, he said "You know, I've got to come up here more often. It's so much easier when I talk about these problems with you." This got me to thinking that I've had the same problem - solving problems while sitting alone in my office is difficult, but inviting someone else to look at the problem with me, regardless of their skill level, helps me to solve the issue just by discussing it with them. If the problem is pronounced enough to notice when I am in an office instead of an open work room, how much worse would it be if I were working from home where I couldn't just walk next door to my office-mates? Yet another random thought worth more research..

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