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AT&T Calls Telecommuters Back To the Cubicle 393

Posted by kdawson
from the land-of-the-pointy-haired dept.
bednarz writes "AT&T is requiring thousands of employees who work from their homes to return to traditional office environments, sources say. 'It is a serious effort to reel in the telework people,' says the Telework Coalition's Chuck Wilsker, who has heard that as many as 10,000 or 12,000 full-time teleworkers may be affected. One AT&T employee says rumors have been circulating since AT&T's merger with SBC that the new upper management is not supportive of teleworking: 'We'd heard rumors to that effect, and all of a sudden we got marching orders to go back to an office.'"
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AT&T Calls Telecommuters Back To the Cubicle

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  • Shadow Layoff? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @03:54PM (#21425261)
    My guess is that ATT is betting that a large percentage of the teleworkers will either resign, or come back with such bad attitudes that they will be fired "for cause" shortly after their return.

    The reality is that, in the current business environment, it is better for your career to be mildly competent but in plain sight that extremely competent but hidden at home.
    • Re:Shadow Layoff? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by physicsboy500 (645835) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:07PM (#21425503)
      The unfortunate thing is businesses like this don't realize that while teleworkers can be distracted at home easier, many tend to do more and better work because they are comfortable at home and don't have anyone looking over their shoulder. Additionally, they don't have to waste a ton of time commuting and thus have more hours in the day to work. This does depend on the type of person working from home as some are more capable than others and some need the pressure of a boss looking over their shoulder to work, but I bet you're absolutely correct in assuming this is their "simple" way of laying off some of their workers.
      • Re:Shadow Layoff? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ergo98 (9391) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:23PM (#21425763) Homepage Journal

        The unfortunate thing is businesses like this don't realize that while teleworkers can be distracted at home easier, many tend to do more and better work because they are comfortable at home and don't have anyone looking over their shoulder.

        Every firm would be well served to do 100% telecommuting for a period of time, forcing them to re-evaluate how they judge the contributions of their team.

        The sad reality is that many shops judge contribution simply by sacrifice and hours, and lots of face time presence, using that as a surrogate for any meaningful metrics at all. This is the root reason why most shops despise telecommuting, and why it's often a negative career step for a worker to undertake: Telecommute and you have to do double, triple, or more what your coworkers are doing to get the same respect, whereas showing up early each day and staying late is often a blanket immunity from any sort of real responsibilities or deliverables.

        With rising energy costs, shops will have to start to become accustomed to telecommuting. As others have said, it's particularly hilarious that a company that is a foundational facilitator of telecommuting is the one going against the trend to decentralize.
        • Re:Shadow Layoff? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by physicsboy500 (645835) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:35PM (#21425945)

          The sad reality is that many shops judge contribution simply by sacrifice and hours, and lots of face time presence, using that as a surrogate for any meaningful metrics at all. This is the root reason why most shops despise telecommuting, and why it's often a negative career step for a worker to undertake: Telecommute and you have to do double, triple, or more what your coworkers are doing to get the same respect, whereas showing up early each day and staying late is often a blanket immunity from any sort of real responsibilities or deliverables.

          With rising energy costs, shops will have to start to become accustomed to telecommuting. As others have said, it's particularly hilarious that a company that is a foundational facilitator of telecommuting is the one going against the trend to decentralize.
          Right with you on that one. A worker is much quicker to gain professional and personal relationships by physically going into work. I do think it depends on how fond the business you're working for is of telecommuting regarding how good/bad that is as a career move, but you are VERY correct in pointing out the irony in a telecommunications company suddenly frowning on their own workers telecommuting.
      • Re:Shadow Layoff? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:52PM (#21426279)
        The unfortunate thing is businesses like this don't realize that while teleworkers can be distracted at home easier, many tend to do more and better work because they are comfortable at home and don't have anyone looking over their shoulder.

        I agree.

        As a person who receives the phone call when the VPN isn't working, BB isn't communicating, or something else that they need to work from home, I will attest that when you let people work at home they will work all the time and more than they should without proper pay.

        I've been tempted to tell people, "Its 6pm on a holiday... Don't you have a family or something. Sheesh! Do you want to call the server admin who is probaly eating with his family right now and tell him to drive into the office to reboot a fax server who no one is using except you? I mean... Your not even the CEO, a VP, a manager, or even their assistant! Is this really going to cause a loss of money to the buisiness? By doing this do you think you'll get a raise? Or even a pat on the back? This is why I have high blood pressure!"

        But I don't say it. Anyways...

        I've met plenty of people who work great from home and all the damn time. In fact I wish they would work less so I could spent more time not having to work in the office, but that is just me.

        It really depends on if the job requires constant supervising, but over all when you work from home you end up at your job 24/7 unlike me who goes home and turns off my phone for the weekend and doesn't check his email (which is why I won't work a telecommuting job).

        The ATT suits have it wrong here. If they want to grind as much productivity out of willing slaves, they just need to hand everyone a laptop, blackberry, a Verizon card, and tell them they are working from home from here on with salary as their pay (not hourly) and no sick time and no vacation (hey you are already at home) and there is no esxcuse for having the deadline missed because you have been at work the entire time.

        Which is why I will never work from home. Hopefully I didn't give any CEOs some ideas here.
      • Re:Shadow Layoff? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by penguin_dance (536599) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @06:26PM (#21427721)
        Yeah, cause we know NO ONE goofs off at work to read Slashdot for instance. (oops!)

        Not to mention the company saves money on buildings, cubicles (which are NOT cheap), electric, etc. If a worker has actual work to do it's pretty easy to measure their progress. Either the work gets done or it doesn't. If they're just doing "busy work" then it won't matter if they're doing it here or there...it still won't add up to production.

        As a former telecommuter (not with the phone company), I found the concept worked very well as I came in the office twice a week. I sat at a "hotelling" station, my phone transferred back to home (I was supplied with an ISDN line for internet/network access and a phone capable of parking my phone number so where ever I was, my work number would reach me.) I could plan to meet around the days I'd be in to assist co-workers, so I wasn't being pulled away every 5 minutes. Also, my commute was around 60 miles roundtrip, so it saved a lot of gas + wear and tear on the car.

        In this day and age with our technology and with the traffic congestion of the big cities, it makes no sense to force everyone to drive into a central location when it's not needed. How many people use chat and email to communicate with co-workers even when they're both in the same office? It's probably pretty rare that you actually need to meet face-to-face, so why not just use the same tools at home?

        One problem I did find out (I was part of a pilot program) is that upper management can take you for granted--or that they don't really need you--out of sight, out of mind. If your boss or yourself isn't proactive to make sure they are aware of your contributions, you risk being on the cutting block the next time layoffs come around.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)
      Or maybe someone in power thinks that most telecommuters are goofing off at home. Plus you can't force people to attend useless meetings if they telecommute.
      • by Osiris Ani (230116) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @06:30PM (#21427767)

        Plus you can't force people to attend useless meetings if they telecommute.

        I call shenanigans on that part of the preceding comment. I've been telecommuting for most of the past four years, and in that duration, have attended useless meetings far too often.

        However, I generally attend them sans pants, so I win.

    • The reality is that, in the current business environment, it is better for your career to be mildly competent but in plain sight that extremely competent but hidden at home.

      This is true. Managers tend to overlook those who telecommute full time, even if they do a great job.

      Personally, I have the best of both worlds, in a sense. I work from home three days out of the week, which means that two days are spent in the office. My most productive days are those working at home - there is LESS of a distraction the

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        "This is true. Managers tend to overlook those who telecommute full time, even if they do a great job."

        Moral of the story - Don't buy that new laptop. Spend the money on $50 shirts instead. They'll pay for themselves with your next pay increase.

        Seriously, if you're in tech, and you're in the office, you have to learn to play office politics. When everyone else is doing "nerd casual" (t shirts, blue jeans, runners) go for the nice threads - you'll be noticed and respected. Look at what your boss is wea

    • by Joe Tie. (567096)
      The reality is that, in the current business environment, it is better for your career to be mildly competent but in plain sight that extremely competent but hidden at home.

      I strongly disagree. Since I switched to telecommuting, I've moved up far more than most of my former coworkers in the same amount of time. It might hold true for larger companies, but in smaller ones where your contributions are the main thing, the boosts in productivity coming from being untethered can give a huge advantage to the t
  • by Bryansix (761547) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @03:56PM (#21425291) Homepage
    They should all quit! AT&T is the worst company out there. I don't know where the regulatory agencies get off letting them merge and become larger when they where born by being broken up because they had become too large and powerful and didn't give a crap about the consumer because there was no competition. Now we have this! Plus didn't AT&T cut a bunch of their workers pension plans? If I worked for AT&T this would be the last straw. Of course I can't see myself every working for such a company.
    • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:07PM (#21425495) Journal
      Thats what AT&T WANTS.
      AT&T can't reasonably afford to lay off 10K workers. Thats very expensive.
      They know that many of their telecommuting workers have built their lives around telecommuting, meaning they just simply can't start going to work. Many of them might not even have reliable transportation. AT&T knows that of the 12K workers they are telling to come back to work possibly half may just quit. AT&T would love this.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Couldn't some sort of lawsuit be brought against them though. They can't just get rid of people by making huge changes to their jobs, and expecting them to leave. If that was the case, why not just change it so that they were required to work in some remote town in Alaska. I bet you that just about everyone would quit. I'm pretty sure you can't tell someone their job is moving, and that if they don't like it, they can just quit, and get no compensation. I'm sure the same could be said for switching a p
        • Couldn't some sort of lawsuit be brought against them though.


          I don't have anything against you personally, but that question makes me want to slap you.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            Just because the US is sue-happy doesn't mean every lawsuit is unjustified. If my employer came up to me, and said, we're moving your job to Nunavut, if you don't want to move, too bad for you, then I'd probably want what is rightfully mine under laws dealing with firing without cause. Not millions of dollars, but the standard severance that is supposed to be given when they fire you. Otherwise, every employer would do this, and never have to worry about firing anybody for the wrong reasons.
      • by emj (15659)
        I thought you had 2 weeks notice lay offs in the U.S., no strings attached..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cmowire (254489)
      succinctly, {nerd} XOR {AT&T droid}.

      With the notable exception of the research labs.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:09PM (#21425541) Homepage Journal
      I think it's funny that the very company that could benefit most from the telecommuting trend won't allow it for their own workers. I expect it to just be politics rather than a decision based on objective data.
    • by Prof.Phreak (584152) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:36PM (#21425967) Homepage
      They should all quit! AT&T is the worst company out there.

      I think that's what the company is trying to accomplish.
    • They're allowed to re-merge because Telecom is in a different statosphere today than it was in the ealy 1980's. When it was broken-up there really was NO COMPETITION to AT&T for "last mile" service. Today there are ubiquitous cell phone network(S!) as well as the internet and all the WiFi & VOIP goodness.
  • Hey! It`s a phone company. They don't care. They don't have to.
  • by Delusion_ (56114) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @03:58PM (#21425345) Homepage
    "Of course it's work-related. I'm farming Primals for my supervisor."
  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @03:58PM (#21425347)
    Maybe the company just doesn't want their internal telecommuting communications to be subject to the federal wiretapping they are performing, keeping it all in-house on their LAN.
  • by Speare (84249) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @03:59PM (#21425371) Homepage Journal

    You know, if Boeing were to reel in their telecommuters, that is one thing. But this is the freakin' phone and network company saying that a phone and network just don't cut it as the primary ways to communicate professionally. What sort of message is this going to signal to big corporate customers who want to spend tons of cash on promoting and providing telecommuting solutions for their own staffs? Oh, yeah, nothing.

    • by Unoti (731964)
      You're absolutely right. Perhaps it's the "phone company" at heart, still, and not so much the network company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by FinanceGeek (661887)
      I spent some time at AT&T and found management to be quite shortsighted - this move doesn't surprise me a bit.
    • That's 10-12K people that now have to commute back and forth to work everyday, need real estate for offices, furniture, etc. What a waste of time, money, and energy.
    • by tompaulco (629533)
      The last company I worked for sold software that processes more than 1/3 of the checks written in the United States. They paid all of their employees and most other bills electronically.
    • by Mercano (826132)
      Funny that you mention Boeing. For quite a while, Airbus was using modified Boeing aircraft [wikipedia.org] to ship subassemblies between their various facilities. Cause, you know, while centralization would save all sorts of fuel, it wouldn't spread the work (and the money) around the EU. Airbus eventually made its own oversized planes, citing the high maintainence costs and the need for even larger cargo, but I can't help but the prospect of getting rid of a competitor's airframe didn't enter into it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GnarlyDoug (1109205)
      The message is more than just 'nothing'. It's an active statement that "We feel that telecommuting is bad and we don't use it". I certainly wouldn't buy from a seller who doesn't believe in his own product. I'd hate to be an AT&T sales rep who gets asked the question "Why should I buy your product when your own company does not feel it is worthwhile?".
  • Personally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fallen1 (230220) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:06PM (#21425479) Homepage
    if I could find another job in short order paying the same or more money AND one that allowed me to telework, I'd tell the new Lord Vader he could go fuck himself and his death star [kir.com].

    Barring that, how about writing up an article and trying to get it into the New York Times (and other large papers) asking the question: Why is AT&T supporting pollution by requiring 10,000 employees to begin commuting to an office once again? Does AT&T _not_ support a green initiative and want to cut down on its carbon footprint in this world? Does AT&T _not_ support cutting down on vehicle emissions by using the very effective telecommute for work? What does AT&T have against saving the planet?

    With the wide variety of people focused on green initiatives, carbon footprinting, greenhouse gases, and trying to save the planet surely some bad press thrown AT&T's way making it look bad on the global stage for, basically, FORCING 10,000+ people to begin commuting to work again after years of working from home... Well, even monopolistic giants can be pimp-slapped in the press. Sometimes.

    AT&T - Your world. Delivered. To the NSA.

    • by hal2814 (725639)
      The vast majority of people just aren't going to care about a green angle in AT&T workers commuting to work. Why? Most people commute to work. If you lived in a town where the majority of roads aren't paved, you're not going to get much sympathy for problems you have with your paved road. An AT&T worker now having the same environmental impact you do getting to and from work isn't going to go anywhere. I think the best angle I've read so far here is pushing the issue that the phone company won'
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:09PM (#21425545)

    I have an idea to be at the office and telecommute at the same time: Invent the holodeck.

    The office space would actually be a giant holodeck with holographic cubicles and other holographic office equipment. At each employee's home, a much smaller holodeck would be installed. These holodecks would be designed similarly to the ones in Star Trek, but with one small difference: These holodecks would use a superset of the X11 protocol.

    Employees at their home holodeck would feel exactly as though they were at the office. Those who physically commute to the office would feel the same way. The residual self images of all the employees logged in to all the holodecks at any given moment would be mapped onto the big office holodeck as well as onto all the smaller holodecks at all the employees' homes.

    Besides saving on gasoline, hours wasted commuting, and traffic jams caused on the nation's highways and streets, this approach would have a few additional benefits as well. For one thing, besides purchasing the holodeck, the employer would not have to buy any other equipment or supplies. All desks, chairs, computer workstations, pens, pencils, post-it notepads, lights, water coolers, vending machines, carpets, and those annoying inspirational posters that say things like Teamwork or Persistence, would all be holographically implemented. This would save big on costs for everyone.

    • by Zenaku (821866) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:29PM (#21425859)
      That is a great "idea." I have an even better "idea:" Use magic. If we all used magic to create our food, shelter and amenities, nobody would have to work at all, and we could spend our time playing Quiddich.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thrip (994947)
        Dude, the Potter books explicitly state that you can't make food with magic. Someone please kill me for knowing this.
    • by arrrrg (902404)
      How about this [cnet.com]?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      I have an idea to be at the office and telecommute at the same time: Invent the holodeck. ...

      Besides saving on gasoline, hours wasted commuting, and traffic jams caused on the nation's highways and streets, this approach would have a few additional benefits as well.

      And somehow you seem serious. Holodeck technology is predicated on having essentially infinite energy -- so much so that after you've solved the power source for warp engines, and then invented transporter technology, you have enough left over t

    • You had me until X11.
    • by Arimus (198136)
      But our management could holo-commute then as well, just take a plant and morph their image on it - only problem is occasionaly the plant will make more sense than the manager...
    • by operagost (62405)

      Employees at their home holodeck would feel exactly as though they were at the office. Those who physically commute to the office would feel the same way. The residual self images of all the employees logged in to all the holodecks at any given moment would be mapped onto the big office holodeck as well as onto all the smaller holodecks at all the employees' homes.

      This idea will break down as soon as an employee decides it's more comfortable to work in the nude and there's a system failure in the clothin

  • impact (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mugnyte (203225) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:09PM (#21425549) Journal

      Something tells me that the delays in commuting, lost productivity from sick days (most telecommuters work while sick), parking/transportation woes, decreased morale and higher turnover, ATT will slowly report that things probably aren't so bad when a % of workers telecommute.

      In fact, I fully expect to see telecommuting plans as a normal part of government recommendations for business during times of terrorism, epidemic or natural disaster. PUtting it bluntly, SBC simply doesn't know where the world is going.
    • Re:impact (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skintigh2 (456496) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:46PM (#21426163)
      That's one hypothesis. Another is that the decision was based on emotion, not logic, and no amount of consequences will matter or even be noticed. Management will get their bonuses no matter what, and if a devision does suffer enough they will just lay off some workers.
    • by plopez (54068)
      Step 1) Have everyone return from telecommuting to increase efficiency. Get back slaps and kudos from upper management.

      Step 2) 6 months later point out the cost savings telecommuting could provide and implement a plan to roll out telecommuting. Get back slaps and kudos from upper management.

      Step 3) Get the bonus, brush up the resume then bail to another company and do it again.

      Step 4) Profit! (I just had to throw that last one in....)

      Mark my words, in 6-12 months they will quietly relent and you will see pe
  • It's not as if AT&T were a telecomm company ... oh, wait ...
  • by FuzzyDaddy (584528) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:14PM (#21425619) Journal
    He says AT&T is in the process of reconciling the human resources policies

    Translation: out of the three companies which are merging, let's pick the policy that takes the most away from the employees.

  • by Peter Trepan (572016) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:16PM (#21425657)
    As the CEO of a successful chain of churches, I can tell you that our televangelists are much more lucrative than our traditional ones.
  • by flerchin (179012) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:19PM (#21425709)
    It has occurred to me recently (and probably to many others before this), that if your job can successfully be performed via telecommute, it can probably successfully be performed in India. Granted, this is not the entire set of telecommuting jobs, but a large portion of them. To that end I have always avoided job opportunities that included a telecommuting option, and instead focused on job opportunities closer to home in the first place.
  • While the prospect of "shadow layoffs" has some validity, I suspect that what you are seeing is just another case of management cluelessness and an inability to let go of old business models.

    Upper management in most organizations either misses the boat, spending time desperately trying to recover (witness MS and the internet, or the Bells and DSL), or just kills the golden goose out of greed and ignorance.
  • by DrEnter (600510) * on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @04:25PM (#21425783)

    I was at HP when they did this. They didn't make much of a secret that it was being done to try and drive people away from the company to reduce headcount. I suppose it worked to some extent, as many of the people that were "recalled" were working at remote locations where it was impossible for them to commute to an office location. Those people were effectively laid-off, and without getting the nice HP severance package normally received for the major lay-offs HP was doing at the time.

    All I can say is I'm glad that I am out of there. HP is still doing anything they can to make it a miserable place to work so people will leave. Last I heard they just eliminating almost all year-end vacation roll-over (Merry Christmas, employees).

    I suspect AT&T will start doing some of this kind of thing now. It is much cheaper for them if employees quit out of frustration then if they have to give them a lay-off package. I suspect they'll see a few more of these "changes" that don't seem to make sense until you look at it as a headcount reduction method.

  • I remember reading an article about HP doing this very same thing last year. They had a fairly large number of telecommuters, and called them back because they didn't feel they could adequately communicate with them. I don't remember the exact quote, but the press release mentioned that they needed "all hands on deck" for whatever they had planned.

    I totally see both sides of this issue. On the anti-telework side, you have two camps. The first is the "old-school" executive types who don't believe anyone can
  • Be nice if this really bit them in the butt, however, with the economy fading that's not likely to happen.

    Be funny if everyone showed up on the same day, and the parking lots couldn't even hold them all.

  • Happier, more creative workers are the antithesis of call center workers.

    Telecommuting is a win-win for employees and employers, resulting in higher morale and job satisfaction and lower employee stress and turnover. These were among the conclusions of psychologists who examined 20 years of research on flexible work arrangements.

    http://www.physorg.com/news114771482.html [physorg.com]

    If we spread more misery, people will need more misery-reducing products. AT&T is obviously about to start selling legal, over-the-cou

  • What are 20k people doing that doesn't need to be done on AT&T property? Certainly they're not maintaining or deploying physical infrastructure.
  • I think this, as much as anything else, speaks volumes about who took over when SBC merged with AT&T. The SBC management and anti-consumer policies have been infecting AT&T ever since the merger. (Hell, I'm even viewing this from the outside, and I can see this.) Those SBC execs are not very nice people, IMHO. It is a shame that they have to go and ruin a good company. :(
  • And how are thy going to try to spin the environmental cost this will have?

    For a long time I have thought that if political wanted to appeal to multiple sides of the political spectrum, they would give a good tax break to businesses for getting over a certain percentage of telecommuters. They would also give the employees a tax break so that they would push for telecommuting as part of their compensation. This make them business friendly, environmentalist friendly, and family friendly all in one fell s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @05:00PM (#21426411)
    I am speaking from experience on this, so please hear me out (I also have to post this anonymously):

    The honest truth is that only the foolish ones work 40+ hour weeks. If you're smart, you've positioned yourself so that you only do about 15 hours of work but everybody thinks you work 60+ hours (emails sent during nights and weekends help with this illusion). Telecommuting helps you hide this fact although you still need to be in the office on occassion for socializing and general schmoozing. Out of sight is out of mind and we don't want that come bonus and promotion time. And quite honestly, I don't see it as a badge of honor to work my ass off for my company. I want to enjoy life, not slave for someone else's bonus. The sad irony of this little scenario is that the higher up you advance, the less you generally work. I say this as an engineer who recently moved into marketing and who is right this very moment "working from home." I'm actually about to go for a nice bike ride but I'll first send a few emails asking for schedules from the software group. The software guys will give me a date and I'll forward this to the customer. They will go back to work while I will arrange a nice trip to California where we'll go out and party, talk a little business, and generally make all of our strategic decisions in a bar somewhere in San Francisco.

    If you are an engineer with any sort of social skills, get the hell out of engineering and go into sales/marketing. Your technical talents will make you a god, you will decide what projects to do, and you will have a life other than coding and WoW. And if the above didn't convince you, I will just say two words: Marketing Chicks!

    It's your life. Don't waste it.

  • by fury88 (905473) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @05:03PM (#21426453)
    AT&T clearly has no clue. My wife works from home for a very large company. In fact they let her move out of state where they don't even have an office. They are letting more and more workers telecommute because her company understands the big picture of retaining employees. In fact they pay for our net connection as well as her business phone, fax, printer, and other expenses. Her boss yelled at her for NOT expensing stuff soon enough because its SOO much cheaper for the company to allow telecommuting than bringing them into the office. This company CLEARLY gets it.
  • by festers (106163) on Tuesday November 20, 2007 @05:12PM (#21426609) Journal
    I know a lot of the /. crowd loves to work from home, but as someone who has to deal with clueless telecommuters all the time, I think the whole system sucks. Whether it's their home ISP having problems or they too stupid to figure out that they need to actually be on the VPN to access work resources, it's nothing but a huge headache. So for your average geek working from home may be a sweet deal, but for everyone else there should be a computer literacy test given before you are allowed to telecommute.
  • I worked for a big semiconductor company that has reversed their telecommuting policies.

    Companies need to understand that they need to hire the right people in order to make this policy work. It's easy for a few bad apples to ruin it for the hard working ones.

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