Friday, May 15, 2015

Is Remote Work Remotely Possible?

I wrote today's comic because I was thinking about working remotely. It seems that many types of modern software developer jobs can be done by people sitting in their homes instead of in a cubicle. There are probably many other types of jobs that could be done remotely as well. Why does it still seem like the exception instead of the rule?

Is it distrust of workers that you can't watch?

Is it a desire to have a cohesive company culture?

Is it an honest belief that workers need an office environment to be productive?

Is it just tradition?

As usual, I don't have any answers. Just questions. I hope that most people don't work for a boss that distrusts them. And I really appreciate a desire to have a company culture (but I would argue that not many people know how to achieve it). I can also understand that some people focus better on their job when they are removed from the distractions in their home.

But I suspect that tradition plays a major part in it. Let's face it, the major enabler of working remotely, the Internet, is still very new. And high-speed Internet in the home is still just a dream in many parts of the United States. It's going to take a while before working from non-office locations becomes "normal" in the minds of business decision-makers.

And let's not forget that many jobs don't make sense for remote work (yet).
  • Plumbers
  • Automotive technicians
  • Barbers
  • Pastry chefs
  • Landscapers
  • Lumberjacks
I am working from home when I make these comics. But I'm not a good example of anything.

Amphibian.com comic for 15 May 2015