Thought for the day:Three cheers for the home office

Hard-hitting IT columnist Simon Moores gives his personal take on the hot issue of the day.Ever had one of those days? I'm sure...

Hard-hitting IT columnist Simon Moores gives his personal take on the hot issue of the day.Ever had one of those days? I'm sure you have. There's a tube strike. The hamster has escaped and an accident on the A3 is blocking any chance of getting the school run finished before eight-thirty.

What am I supposed to do? For the first time in almost 20 years, I've given up on the everyday struggle to reach the office. I've begun working from home, surrounded by three PCs, two printers, two phones and a fax machine.

In my battle to get to work on time, I left the car and started using a motorcycle to travel to work, but now there's nowhere for even bikes to park and parking wardens seem to hide behind every tree.

At first I felt guilty about not commuting. "I should be in the office, the business will collapse, this is skiving, and I should be there," I worried. But, a month later, I'm wondering why I wasted more than two hours each day as a desperate, angry tidal creature, one of many fighting the unpredictability of London's traffic and weather and arriving at work earlier and earlier in an effort to beat the rush.

Being a telecommuter works for me. I start work now at 8am and I finish much later, but far more flexibly. My meetings I block book for two days a week and the technology does the rest for me. I'm less stressed and more productive.

More and more large companies now hot-desk or have people working from home. With cheap broadband connectivity now available, there's very little reason for any company not to think about having staff work remotely.

Perhaps the Government should encourage businesses to do just this by offering some kind of tax break. After all, business is now penalised for employee parking "benefits", and very soon driving into London, which is impossible at the best of times, will be taxed.

So here's my suggestion to the Chancellor for the next budget. Help boost the knowledge economy through incentivising companies that subsidise home broadband and teleworking practices. Get people off the roads and on to e-mail. Let's use the technology that now makes this possible instead of finding reasons to justify the living hell of the Central Line.

And if anyone finds my daughter's hamster, he answers to the name of Eric.

What is your view?
Would working from home make you and your employees more productive? Tell us in an e-mail >> CW360.com reserves the right to edit and publish answers on the Web site. Please state if your answer is not for publication.

Zentelligence Setting the world to rights with the collected thoughts and opinions of the futurist writer, broadcaster and Computer Weekly columnist Simon Moores.
This was last published in October 2002

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