A reader who liked our post on the announcement from Yahoo about banning telecommuting sent along this infographic. It points out some very interesting information about the pros and cons and regional differences in attitudes toward telecommuting.
I read somewhere that many companies brag about how their people are the difference that makes them better, and that they only hire the best and brightest. And yet many of these same companies have outdated notions about telecommuting.
I have been on both sides of the debate: pushing to have more flexibility for myself while managing people who sometimes requested the same.
It usually comes down to trust: 1) you have to trust your employees to be productive, and 2) you have to trust yourself to manage them like they deserve to be managed. You also have to be prepared to defend the people and your practices to nay-sayers in your organizations, because they will take potshots--usually out of jealousy and ignorance.
Trust can be built up over time. To speed it up, the onus is on the telecommuter. I suggest that telecommuters should over-communicate their project work with their managers. Morning "here's what I am working on today" emails and afternoon "here's what I accomplished today" emails can go a long way to making a manager feel comfortable with your telecommuting.