I'd like to chime in on the telecommuting piece, too.

I understand the bosses' needs for "face time" and it has validity, no doubt about it. Add to that the need for absorbing the corporate culture, whatever that is, and there is a compelling argument for on-site full time employees.

On the other hand there are a lot of skills available on the outside, and establishing an ongoing relationship with folks that have needed skill sets provides an insight into what is normal & ordinary in the industry.

If a firm has enough staff for busy times then they have too many people for slower times. And vice versa. Outsiders can help smooth that sine curve.

Another factor is that most professionals want to develop themselves. Most outsiders will do that too, but not on billable time.

Defining a problem is a task that is not always thought through. The result can often be a project that is assigned to a full time employee and it runs on and on forever for no apparent reason. Outsiders tend to distill those issues and bring them into focus.

The right outsider is hard to find and may not live in ordinary commuting distance. Telecommuting solves that issue. It is entirely reasonable to expect an outsider to pay his own expenses, so that need not be an issue, however the reality is that the expenses do come from the billable rate.

In my own experience I find that a week every 5 to 8 weeks has to be spent "in the office" for face time and so they don't forget me, but more than that and I am just in the way.

One fear I hear is that the telecommuter will waste time if s/he isn't right there in the herd where the bull can watch them. That may be the case sometimes, but most people that have the git up & go to work on their own have pretty good self discipline. Besides, the same measures that work in the office also work for telecommuting.

I'd also add that encouraging some telecommuting for full time employees is not a bad idea. When its crunch time and a job needs mucho hours why not send the programmer home and tell him/her to git 'er done? They can work 28 hours straight at home, never happen at the office. (Of course that has to be made right in some way. I once saw a guy walk into the office at 10:30 on a Wednesday morning and his boss climbed all over him for being late. The guy said to the boss "I've put in 70 hours since Last Friday night. I am just here to drop off something and then I am done for the week." The boss was apoplectic. The boss's boss was ecstatic and gave the guy the next week off, too.)

I guess my own feelings are that there is room for lots of solutions. Full time employees are really important but telecommuting really is an answer for some things.

>>>info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:Here's what I don't understand. A company that will offshore outsource half way around the world, but refuses to use telecommuting professionals. ....I know that there are several EDI professionals in this forum who could solve your problem particularly if telecommuting was an option! And considering the low to moderate cost of living where some of them reside, in comparison to the cost of living in Chicago, you'd get a great resource at a great rate!...

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