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14 January 2005

Dear F@W
I work in a LOUD environment. Some days I can’t even hear myself think. Not only is it loud, it is filled with disruptive people who think I care about little Ricky’s part in the school play or how well they like the latest movie. The constant chatter and never-ending drone of the copy machine are driving me insane and impacting my ability to do my work. I really think I could be more productive working from home. I would have uninterrupted time to finish projects, I wouldn’t have to listen to the water cooler drivel, and I would be far, far away from the annoying people. I’ve repeatedly asked my boss if I can work from home just one day a week. But my boss won’t listen to reason. He insists that all our work needs to be done in the office. How can I talk him into it?
–Michelle - Manchester, New Hampshire

Dear Michelle
Working from home or “telecommuting” continues to be one of the most sought after requests that employees make. There are lots of good reasons to work from home, some of which you already mentioned. There are also some disadvantages to working from home. Particularly in organizations where departments don’t talk much to each other, working from home serves to aggravate communication problems. If you feel strongly about working from home, then promise your boss more communication and accountability so that he/she can be sure that time away is not time at play.


 
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