Raul’s blog yesterday, Monitoring Remote Employees with Scrutinizer, got me thinking more about the “Work from Home” concept.

Especially in light of the recent (and ongoing?) swine flu scare, with many Tech companies urging employees to work from home, it makes me wonder why more companies aren’t pushing that issue.

Plixer International is located in Southern Maine. I am fortunate to live less than 10 miles from the office, however, many of my associates are not so fortunate. There is no reliable public transportation available, as this is a very rural area, so transportation is mostly by private vehicles, primarily carrying one passenger only.

With gas prices spiking up to over $4.00 a gallon at times, it seems a waste that we have employees traveling up to 300 miles per week (30 miles each way, round trip 60 miles, times 5 days equals 300 miles), using a minimum of 10 gallons per week if they’re lucky enough to get 30 mpg with their vehicle. With the wild price fluctuations, that equates to $20 – $40 per week for gas alone – annual costs of $1,000 to $2,000. That does not take into account wear and tear on the vehicle or even the actual need for a second vehicle for most households.

In addition to the transportation costs, there is also the travel time involved. Time wasted, for the most part. Unless you spend all that time on the cellphone. Which raises another issue I won’t get into here…

Without the travel time lost on the road, which for some is 45 minutes to an hour each way (in good weather), employees can use that time to get a better nights’ sleep, and be more refreshed and ready to start the workday. They may also be more inclined to work outside of the normal business hours, as it isn’t in addition to their regular workday and commute to and from work.

So, as I stated before, I don’t understand why more companies aren’t moving towards this trend and allowing their employees to work from home. An employee self-disciplined enough to “be at work” while working at home could be much more effective as they can be more relaxed and rested.

I’d like to see more work from home opportunities. For working moms, working dads, to alleviate stress during scares such as the swine flu, and to reduce an employee’s work-related expenses giving them more net income.

Joanne Ghidoni author pic

Joanne Ghidoni

Joanne is a Software Quality Assurance Engineer at Plixer. She has also held positions as Technical Support Engineer and Sales Engineer since joining Plixer in 2005. Prior to joining Plixer, Joanne has had numerous positions in the IT field, including data entry, computer operator, PC coordinator and support, mainframe programmer, and also Technical Support and web programmer at Cabletron Systems. In her spare time, Joanne enjoys traveling, always seeking out new and interesting places to visit.

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