What do you think of telecommuting?

An estimated 300,000 metro Atlanta telecommuters skip their road trips to the office at least twice a week, according to an AJC report by Tina Brown.

Hundreds of metro companies provide such workplace opportunities — with and without the state’s tax credit, Brown writes.

The state offers up to $20,000 in tax credits to employers who participate in its Telework tax-credit program.

Additionally, participating employers are eligible for $1,200 for each new so-called teleworker on its payroll, Brown reports. The state has allocated $2.5 million for the program, which expires in 2011. The deadline to apply is Oct. 30.

Do you telecommute? Does your company offer this option or have a good reason not to?

If you do telecommute, have you found that you’re more productive?

Do you miss the camaraderie? Worry about what’s going on when you’re not there?

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45 comments Add your comment

Rodney

October 18th, 2010
10:49 am

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m working from home right now AND posting to this blog. :)

I telecommute at least three days per week, sometimes more. As a data analyst/database admin my job requires many odd hours (nights/weekends) in addition to a normal 8 hour day. Were I restricted to working only in an office I would be IN that office more often than not, and that’s unacceptable.

As for being more productive, the answer is an emphatic YES. A combination of “I need to be productive so my employer doesn’t think I’m slacking” and “I don’t have any of the distractions that I have when in the office” make it quite easy for me to accomplish more when working from home.

PLUS, I’m able to work not only from home, but really anywhere I can get a high-speed internet connection.

Self-employed

October 18th, 2010
10:56 am

I started my own business largely so I could work from home and watch my daughter. I had difficulting finding an employer that would accommodate a work-from-home schedule, so I went out on my own. I definitely wouldn’t go back.

janet

October 18th, 2010
11:00 am

I closed my office and have worked from home for over 10 years. I live in Roswell. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I Miss It

October 18th, 2010
11:02 am

I worked from home for two years (2007-2009) and it great…Full time at home. But we had thousands laid off nationwide in spring 2009 and I got a new job in Sept 2009 (which I am thankful for but miss working from home). I don’t have as many miles in my commute as some do but any distance is hard to get used to when you haven’t had to do it for awhile. I’m trying to put the bug in our management’s ear about telecommuting at my current employer.

Rob

October 18th, 2010
11:08 am

where did they come up with 300,000? Also our government already waste too much money
to pay a company to let some one sit at home and work.

AmazonRed™

October 18th, 2010
11:10 am

My job offers telecommuting one day a week and I love it. Being in a small office, there are a lot of distractions and people who need help on other projects to make sure the workload gets done. Telecommuting gives me a day of uninterrupted work time. I’m super productive and often put in more hours as I stay tethered to my laptop even after “quitting” time.

Love love love it.

I Miss It

October 18th, 2010
11:16 am

I remember before I actually “moved” home at my last job, that I was kind of uncertain since I do like social interaction, etc but all the positives far outweighed any negatives like that. Not to mention that we would have regular team meetings via conference call and we had instant chat so we were always communicating w/ each other. It truly was a virtual office.

Working Mom

October 18th, 2010
11:17 am

I would LOVE to work from home 1-2 days a week! I work for am IT company and even though they are issuing us laptops and cell phones we still are not able to work from home but rather – do more work from home ie at 5:30 you can bring your laptop home and do more work in the evening and weekends.

I am so looking for another job!!

Horrible Driver

October 18th, 2010
11:34 am

Yes I telecomute every day. I talk on my cell phone all the way to work!!

Frustrated State Employee

October 18th, 2010
11:35 am

I think it’s ironic that the state pays so much money to businesses in order to give them an incentive to allow workers to telecommute, but I currently work in a state agency that just informed us that we have to stop telecommuting at the end of this month. After over 5+ years of implementing the program in our department, it was an incentive that we grew to rely on.

I understand it is a hard time for a lot of people that are currently unemployed, so it might sound selfish to complain about something people feel is trivial, but it doesn’t help morale for a workgroup to take away their only incentive when they also have to deal with receiving increased work loads, no pay increases in over 3 years, increased health costs, and sometimes even pay cuts.

So my question is why is the state paying to sell employers on a program when it doesn’t even believe enough in it to follow it itself?

Samatha

October 18th, 2010
11:35 am

My Job allows us to telecommute when needed and on weekends that we are on call.
I have to tell you it is awesome. It is great to be able to work from home when needed and not have to
put on the suit and fight traffic. More companies should allow this. You save on wear and tear on the car, you save money on gas and you save space on the interstate for others who can’t work from home. Unfortunately it seems to be mostly customer service positions for major companies that allow this, but it isn’t a bad gig to have if you can get it.

Native Atlantan

October 18th, 2010
11:54 am

I’ve been working from home the past three years. I do find myself more productive but I also miss the interactions at the office. One thing that still irritates me is the IT company I work for used to incent us to work from home by paying for internet access/cable, second phone line, and various other expenses. Interestingly, those incentives have now been eliminated….so it now costs me MORE to work at home than it did 3 years ago. Still, wouldn’t give it up….

Glad

October 18th, 2010
11:58 am

I haven’t been to my office in two months. I’m as productive as ever and my sprouting gray hairs have slowed. I dread the day that a change comes and lands me in an office again.

Jennifer

October 18th, 2010
11:59 am

My husband and I have both worked from home for our companies for the past five years, myself full time and they just did away with his one day in the office requirement. Saves tons of money on gas, etc… and not to mention the pollution factor. Other than being a bit secluding, it’s been a blessing. We just have to make efforts to get together with co-workers for dinner now and then.

George Bailey

October 18th, 2010
12:17 pm

After reading this article, I went to the Georgia website and downloaded all the information. I then went to my boss/CEO and presented him with the information letting him know that several of our sales team as well as myself would qualify for the program, and that I could easily set everything up if he was interested. His response….NO! Not interested in having to deal with another government agency. Unfortunately, I think that’s the typical reaction. hey, here’s a lot of benefits to the company, the employees, the state, etc…. but apparently it benefits too many people and not JUST the company. If it ONLY benefited the company and the potential for him to reap more profit, he’d be all over it. :(

Angel

October 18th, 2010
12:30 pm

I telecommuted for about 5 years when I lived in atlanta. I moved out of the state after being laid off from that position several years ago. I’m currently looking to find another telecommuting position due to my family schedule right now. It was really great to have that working arrangement as I saved on gas and daycare expenses. I think more companies should make that available even it only 2 or 3 days per week.

TechMom

October 18th, 2010
12:31 pm

Been working from home for over 6 years and cannot imagine going back to the commute. At the time I literally had to turn in my resignation to get my company to agree to it “temporarily, until they found my replacement.” Needless to say, they didn’t need to and it’s worked out well. Now instead of me being one of the 2 out of 200 people who telecommute, I’m probably 1 of the 140 out of 160 who telecommute. Amazing the change in 5 years. It really took a mentality shift I think. The lease is up on our office space next year and they’re already talking about downsizing space. I do pay for my own internet & phone but that’s fine by me- WAY cheaper than gas and maintenance on my car, not to mention clothes, drycleaning and eating out. It also significantly improved my relationship with husband. We used to fight about whose 4pm meeting was more important. Now it doesn’t matter.

Laurie

October 18th, 2010
12:32 pm

I am one of the fortunates, telecommuting 2-3 times a week. Everyone is required to be in the office on Mondays for weekly meetings, and such. The 1 -1 1/2 hour saved from being on the road allows me to be home when my girl leaves and comes home from school, and gives me the opportunity to enroll her in after school activities she couldn’t do before because of my commute schedule. My former employer had a telecommute program as well, but my manager was stingy, allowing only 1 day a week, and making me come in to make up for days I worked from home due to snow storms and flooding. I love my new job, and brag it about it all the time. It’s amazing how this benefit has given me so much back.

1969hotrod

October 18th, 2010
12:34 pm

retired now, but my company let me go home for the olympics and I just stayed home for five years. I found that working from home had its challenges (like actually working) but once you adjust, you are no longer clock watching for time to go home. I believe you actually work more, as I found myself doing work at 10pm or later. My work was not time sensitive, so that allowed me to do things during the day and still accomplish all goals or exceed them. also save me tons of money on commuting, meals, clothing, etc. You need to be disciplined to work from home, but it would seem the payoff for the employer is reduced office space (and associated costs) along with the tax incentives available.

Bhorsoft

October 18th, 2010
12:38 pm

I’m in IT as well and generally work from home at least one day a week (usually Friday) and sometimes more. I also get a lot of crazy hours having to do some of my work from midnight on into the wee hours. I do ALL of that work from home. Where I make an effort to come in is on days when I have a lot of meetings. We can do a lot of meetings via phone conferencing, but I find it more effective to be there in person. Video conferencing might be more effective, but I usually find the problem is that I have trouble hearing some meeting participants on the phone.

In addition to being more productive, I find I can start and finish work a bit earlier, but put more work in from home because I’m not trying to time my commute to less than peak hours or sitting in traffic 2 hours a day – I usually can devote 1 of those 2 hours to additional work and 1 to my family.

Allen

October 18th, 2010
12:40 pm

Frustrated State Employee,

What agency? I was part of a group of telecommuters with a state agency. Morale and productivity went up even in the face of furlough days. I can’t imagine why they would stop it.

Just Me

October 18th, 2010
12:52 pm

My employer has allowed it to the employees with the biggest ’sob’ story…..even when there are others in the EXACT same job title that its not allowed for. Is this legal?

Say What

October 18th, 2010
1:03 pm

Just Me,

Get over it and get back to work !

Dave

October 18th, 2010
1:08 pm

I work from home one day per week but I manage a group with numerous teleworkers and remote employees. The teleworkers are local and work from home four days per week – in the office one. Remote workers work out of state from home. They all love it although managing them and making them feel like “part of the team” is challenging.

Dreamer

October 18th, 2010
1:22 pm

I would be thrilled beyond belief to work from home again. (company I used to telecommute for closed after 6 years)
I’ve searched and searched for telecommute jobs…..all I find are ones with very low pay–way below minimum wage. I would love another telecommuting job.
I found I was very productive when I was telecommuting. I love it!

ATL Fan

October 18th, 2010
1:32 pm

I’m right there with you Rob!

Dumber from reading this

October 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

It’s a total scam and should be eliminated.

Vee

October 18th, 2010
1:46 pm

I to work for a large company in Gwinnett county and we are allowed to work from home one day a week. Working from home is MUCH better than being in a stinky, cigarette smoking office with people who sit near you in other cubicles that like to talk loud. I swear some people don’t understand they are in am office setting and it PISSES me off to no extent. Also, I work less than 2 miles from my job so traffic is never a bother for me.

Anyone who has an issue with it needs to be quiet. If you don’t think it would help, then guess what …. don’t part take in it.

AlwaysAVol

October 18th, 2010
1:48 pm

I have worked from home since 2008 and love it. I normally go into the office a half day a week. Due to the time saved on the commute I get a minimum of an extra hour of work put in in the morning and the afternoon. I am on call 24-7-365 so having access was already a necessity. I was skeptical starting, but for the right job under the right conditions, it is an excellent opportunity. I know many employers are hesitant because they fear employees will take advantage of it and slack off. From my peers (who also work at home) I find it is just the opposite. The atmosphere is less stressful, communications are just as open, and productivity is much higher.

I wish...

October 18th, 2010
1:55 pm

I have a laptop and cell phone. I’m rarely on the phone as I work with many international people. Working from home would save me 2 hours a day and about $60 each week or $3,000 each year. I need to look for a job that allows me to work from home at least 2 days a week. I’m very efficient.

LMAO

October 18th, 2010
2:03 pm

Wow, just WOW! Just wait until “the boss” looks at the vast number of people here claiming “high productivity” and doing nothing but surfing the net looking for blogs to blab about how wonderful their work life is. My employees wonder why I won’t allow this practice, thanks for proving me right! I might allow it with a cut in pay, the proof is right here!

IwkFrHome5daysaWK

October 18th, 2010
2:04 pm

I’m a Customer Service Rep for a Telecommunications company and I love it. I never knew working from home would make me LOVE my job. I only go into the office 2 times a month and one of those times is only for 30-45 mins. The other time is for a couple of hrs and then my shift is over for the rest of the day.

Sam

October 18th, 2010
2:09 pm

We used to have a work from home pgm. I work for a large corp. in town. We had a lady, who was supposedly “working from home” full time. That is until someone walked into Decatur Dodge a few years back and found her working there as well selling cars. Her computer was at her desk logged and her SameTime IM looked like she was “on the system.” Guess what? All work from home was permanently rescinded for us after she was fired.

Kevin

October 18th, 2010
2:16 pm

Working from home is great in Atlanta as I don’t have to spend 2-3 hours per day in traffic, I save money and time. I believe that I work a lot more at home than I did at the office as there are no interruptions, breaks, long lunches, etc. I do miss the personal interaction with others.

fil

October 18th, 2010
2:17 pm

Dumber for Reading this & LMAO – you’re idiots.

State Employee

October 18th, 2010
2:21 pm

Allen,

I am also a State Worker and when this was a buzz word in 2007, most managers were on board but just with most Mid-Level Managers and Commissioners at the State level, they are dinosaurs and truly arent interested in being leaders for something like this.

Frustated State Employee is absolutely correct regarding telecommuting. Morale for State Employees is at an all-time low. The rising cost of benefits, furloughs, no upward mobility and poor leadership are just a few reasons for this.

I work in the Dept. of Community Affairs and I would say with absolute certainty that you would almost have a better chance at getting a raise rather than ur boss not seeing the whites of your eyes on a daily basis.

At any rate, I still have a job so who am I to complain.

Happy Camper

October 18th, 2010
2:27 pm

I love my telecommuting job! It allows me the freedom to homeschool my children as well.

IwkFrHome5daysaWK

October 18th, 2010
2:28 pm

@ Kevin I feel the same way.

JC

October 18th, 2010
2:32 pm

I was wondering where all the folks with online degrees worked.

70'S kid

October 18th, 2010
2:47 pm

The draw to my business is being No 1 in customer service and I must be at my office so that if my customer needs my assitance they can come in my office. Some people are into the internet. Some are into telephones.
That’s all well and good for them, but my customers want to come in and see me.

Muffin

October 18th, 2010
3:04 pm

It would be nice to work from home every now and then, but working in a law firm makes it counter productive. the few times i have done it, i asked people to email me if something needed to be done on a file, but some people are stuck in the 90’s and can’t seem to not still leave a paper file with a paper note on it to do work on a file that could have easily been completed from home. so basically i come back to the office and find a stack of work on my desk that didn’t get done.

I think my passive aggressive boss does it on purpose because he’s pretty much a jerk.

Meanwhile the lazy co worker who cries her eyes out every time she wants something has worked from home every Friday for the last month. Every time she clocked in but “forgot” to clock out. Riiiiight.

TechMom

October 18th, 2010
3:18 pm

I spend less time perusing blogs (actually I was perusing headlines while waiting to join a conference call this morning when I ran across this blog) than people in the office spend chit-chatting, taking 4 smoke breaks or coffee breaks and otherwise piddling around. I am definitely more efficient at home than in the office though I do enjoy going in on occasion even if for nothing other than the excuse of catching up with people and going out to lunch.

shadow7071

October 18th, 2010
4:20 pm

Let’s see… I’ve been promoting telecommuting since 1991. Enough said.

Francis Prevost

October 18th, 2010
11:10 pm

Being a professional painter reduces my ability to telecommute to right about zero. But, I will go to your location (residential/commercial) to do my job! Need an excellent painter with one of the best list of references in town? Contact Prevost Painting at prevostp@bellsouth.net. “I came, I saw, I painted”. Licensed and fully insured. Information available upon request. After talking to my references, I will be your painter!

Stone Mtn

October 19th, 2010
12:43 pm

Congrats to all 300,000 of you! My question however is this…While you’re at home working, why are you letting someone borrow your car and driving it around I-285 (top end perimeter, specifically) every morning and afternoon?!