Monday, March 23, 2009

Telecommuting: an invitation to layoff? Also, lessons from the dot-com bust


Telecommuting has been promoted as a way to reduce traffic, carbon emissions, and save fossil fuels, and money for employees. One trades car expenses to perhaps being responsible for a home PC and broadband connection.

But now during recession, some people feel that showing up at the office less could lead them vulnerable to layoff. Today, March23, the front page of the Washington Post has a cover story by Annys Shin, “As Cuts Loom, Will Working From Home Lead to a Layoff?: Recession Pushes Some to Eschew Flexible Job Policies”, link here.

Some employers, however, insist that they will promote telecommuting to save office rental costs, and some companies find that upper management supports telecommuting while middle managers in their spans of control tend to use it as a weapon against more marginal subordinates.

Some localities or states have postponed passing even minimal paid family leave ordinance because of the recession.

Today, Tech Republic has a very interesting blog column by Jason Hiner, “Lessons in unemployment from the dot com bust”, an interview with Mrinal Desai, founder of Crossloop: Everyone Helps (a computer tech support company), about his experiences with professional social networking; he worked for LinkedIn.

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