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Ask Slashdot: Would You Take a Pay Cut To Telecommute?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the or-to-make-your-officemate-telecommute dept.

Businesses 615

coondoggie writes "IT pros want to telecommute — so much so that more than one-third of those surveyed by Dice.com said they would take a pay cut for the chance to work full time from home. In a survey conducted by the careers site, 35% of technology professionals said they would sacrifice up to 10% of their salaries for full-time telecommuting. The average tech pro was paid $79,384 last year, according to Dice's annual salary survey, which means a 10% pay cut is equivalent to $7,900 on average."

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Yes (5, Insightful)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724534)

When you factor in commute time, gas and car maintenance, the need for 2 cars for family ,child care and office politics it's definitely a pay raise.

Re:Yes (3, Informative)

MikeyO (99577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724552)

what does child care have to do with it? I telecommute, but it doesn't affect how much I have to spend on child care. its not like you can do a job effectively while also caring for children.

Daycares (3, Interesting)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724610)

I think some working families throw their children into daycares during the day after school (if the kids go to school) until they come home from work. I hear daycares can cost a lot too.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724626)

Your former commute time can now be spent either working or helping take care of your children, if you're married and your spouse was already the full-time caretaker of the children that may not change the costs much. But if you are single, or you both work, you no longer have the time spent taking the kids to someone else who cares for them during your worktime.

Re:Yes (3, Insightful)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724704)

Why not? They're at school most of the day, and once home they spend the rest of the afternoon doing homework. Rather than having to find childcare for a couple of hours before and after school each day, I can just make sure they know I'm in my office downstairs if something bad happens. Days when I work from home are significantly quieter than days when I go in to work and have to deal with all the people at the office.

Re:Yes (4, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724752)

Why not? They're at school most of the day, and once home they spend the rest of the afternoon doing homework.

You obviously don't have children. Your plan only works if all children are at least 10 years old. I have a six-year-old, and there's no way he can entertain himself for three hours every day, unless he watches TV or plays video games the whole time.

Re:Yes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724844)

So don't have kids. Problem solved.

Re:Yes (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724852)

Legos and books man, legos and books. Got my now 7 year old through the last few winters. Summer it's a little more challenging. He's an only child so going out to the yard to play unsupervised at that age is a little iffy. And when choosing between parsing someone's power point presentation to try to figure out their functional needs and going out to play frisbee with the kid, I'd much rather be out tossing the disk.

-Rick

Re:Yes (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724886)

I have a 9 year old and a 10 year old, so they're old enough to do homework when they get back from school. But even when I started working from home on a regular basis, they were 5 and 6, and they'd play fine together for hours on end - give them some Lego, or paper, scissors and tape, and they were good. It helps though that they are so close in age that they can keep each other entertained.

Re:Yes (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724938)

That's why you have more than one child ;) I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old, and they can already amuse each other for 30 minutes or so while I make dinner for them.

Re:Yes (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724988)

30 minutes != three hours.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724954)

Yes, the average 6 year old is right at the age where they can do this. Lay out a snack and help them put in a DVD if you must, but seriously, as long as you actually do play with them 2 hours later most kids can self entertain and you can put off requests to help them construct a spaceship out of construction paper in the meantime.

Start pushing your kid now, it will help him in the longrun.

Re:Yes (1)

j-beda (85386) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725028)

"No way"?

I think you are not giving your first grader enough credit. You are probably correct that this particular situation is best suited to kids in maybe the third grade or later, I do recommend you give your six-year-old a bit more opportunity to explore self entertainment on a regular basis. It is a learned skill that will be very useful throughout his life.

Limiting the formal commercial after-school care to just one day per week and making use of an after school sports program, trading off with other parents, and doing a bit of the "pick them up from school and let them self-entertain while I finish off my day" on the other days has freed up significant money in our household with a 2nd and 5th grader this year. Before school is not an issue as they walk to school before my 09:00 "start" to my day.

Re:Yes (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724838)

If you spend an hour commuting each way, that's 2 hours less daycare you have to pay for if you work the same hours.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724964)

what does child care have to do with it?

Hey, somebody has to teach them about punctuation, and I hope to fuck it's not you.

Re:Yes (0)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724566)

Damn, my first first post and it wasn't even in reference to the famous trolling organizaton pioneered by Gary *** rest censored....

Re:Yes (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724578)

Agreed. This is quite obvious. The report would be more interesting if they factored out those components.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724580)

Not to mention the fact that you can choose to live in a less expensive area.

Re:Yes (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724600)

Agreed totally. Factor in the cost of commuting, and the TIME for commuting. I can get a lot done with all that time back, and I don't actually live that far from my office.

People in the greater Toronto area who have 90 minute commutes each way every day I can totally see this. That's 3 hours of gas, wear and tear on the car, and stress every single day. You could make that back with a pay cut easily, and you can't put a price on not having to drive through that traffic!

Re:Yes (5, Insightful)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724768)

They should pay me to work from home! After all, if there's no need for a huge office and staff etc. they save a shitload of money

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724974)

No kidding. It's probably a wash in expenses, so there should be no salary cut. In fact, you're taking on some of the burden by using extra electricity/gas at home during the day.

Re:Yes (1, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724834)

Well, for people smart enough not to have kids, and live close to work, it adds up to less than 2%, at least in my case. And I live in a fairly large and not exactly cheap city. Also, if office politics has got you down, find a new job.

Re:Yes (3, Informative)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725038)

Well, for people smart enough not to have kids,

Nice.

Thankfully, if you're smart enough, the rest of us won't have to worry about you polluting the gene pool.

Re:Yes (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724960)

When you factor in commute time, gas and car maintenance, the need for 2 cars for family ,child care and office politics it's definitely a pay raise.

Absolutely. $4.00/gallon. 80 miles per day, wearing out tires, going through oil, expiring that 70K mile warranty, approaching the inevitable equipment failures which translate to $$$$, plus all the time wasted on the commute. You bet. Plus, much quieter at home.

not logical (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724540)

Having to provide less office space, less resources, less money on utilities to keep up an office... yet IT people are expected to take the pay cut? We go into the office for them, not the other way around.

Re:not logical (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724624)

Hey, there are arguments to be made. By coming in, the managerial tier gains the satisfaction of knowing that, while you may not be always working on something productive, you're at least not, say, looking at the kinds of things that most corporate filters are designed to block. Also, if your job sometimes involves labor or maintenance tasks (rebooting a server, swapping RAM...) they're increasing the amount of time necessary to get your butt on premises to fix it, and potentially impacting their business while you do so.

Re:not logical (3, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724758)

Rebooting a server .. not so much. All our servers have lights-out management or are VMs. And if you're paying me to swap a stick of RAM, you're paying over the odds.

And I can prove that I score better on certain productivity metrics while I work at home (like hours worked, lines of code committed, etc). Whereas when I'm in the office I have to content with a noisy open-plan designed to destroy productivity, and I have to skip out of the door at 1700 sharp to catch my ride home, instead of being able to stick with any problem that requires my extended attention until my daughter gets home from school.

So on the whole, I think it would be fair play to pay me the same, even though I'm actually providing more value for less cost to the enterprise, because I also benefit from it - I can do things like slip out for a run in my lunch hour that I would never be able to do at work.

Re:not logical (2)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724882)

I disagree, they're not designed to destroy productivity. They're designed to cut costs. Destroying productivity is just a happy side-effect.

Re:not logical (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724736)

Having to provide less office space, less resources, less money on utilities to keep up an office... yet IT people are expected to take the pay cut? We go into the office for them, not the other way around.

There's a flaw in your thinking: payroll is where people cost companies money, not presence. If employees switch to telecommuting the company's rent won't just magically shrink, nor will there be a substantial change in utility bills because there's one less computer on at the office; what employers really get from telecommuting is higher job satisfaction. On the employee's side, travel costs are reduced, they can actually sit in front of a window and have a beer while they work, breaks are potential family time, etc., so that pay cut confers a certain value. Personally, I love telecommuting; I can work in the buff and no one knows, except Slashdot I guess.

Re:not logical (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724874)

I can work in the buff and no one knows, except Slashdot I guess.

Unless you forget to turn off your webcam.

I had a glorious couple of months telecommuting till the "incident". There was some fall out, and psychological care needed for some in the conference room.

Later on, some people told me that watching me via webcam (when I knew it was on) was like watching evolution backwards. After a month and half they wondered if I just sat a semi-shaved ape in front of the monitor with a banana.

Re:not logical (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724894)

For small numbers of employees in a large company, this is partially true. It may give the company the opportunity to get out of a lease, or even shutter a floor. Either way, they save some utility costs, maintenance (think janitorial, security, repairs, etc.).

Where I work (large corporate site), we're reducing our footprint for other reasons, and the ability to not renew one office building lease will save several million in rent alone. If you were to look at the rest of the costs (insurance, maintenance, utilities, etc.), I wouldn't be surprised if the total savings was close to $5 million a year, or close to $5,000 a person. Granted, that's nowhere near the salary and other costs of just being an employee, but it's quite a chunk of savings.

If you apply that to a large effort to get a telecommuting program in place, being able to show that doing so will save $5K per person makes for a fairly compelling argument, whether or not the employees are kicking in as well. But for smaller efforts where you would only be able to clear out a floor somewhere, the savings are substantially smaller.

Re:not logical (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725034)

Just because telecommuting may have value to the employee doesn't mean that they should have to pay for it in the form of a pay cut.

Re:not logical (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725004)

Agreed. The discussion should be about pay raises for telecommuting, not pay cuts.

How much is your commute/time worth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724546)

If you're spending hours in your car everyday, and you could avoid that, how much would that be worth? And if you're paying your own commuting expenses, such as car/gas/parking, how much is that? It may be simple math that you come out ahead.

Sounds like they have the wrong priority (3, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724576)

Really, I would think that the company themselves should be willing to pay more for someone who telecommutes, due to needing less facility needs (space, cubicles, utilities) that would be saved from allowing telecommuting. And there is the added benefit of making sure all the equipment can be administered via telecommuting as you can then simply call up the IT group(s) and they can fix the problem from home without waiting the upwards of a hour that it would take to bring someone in to flip a switch/enter a password.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724766)

The problem is that most organization have no way of actually tracking productivity, so they pay people basically for being on site for X hours a day. Meaning that anybody who isn't filling a chair for X hours a day will be suspected of not pulling their own weight. Pay people for what they actually accomplish, instead of just for being there, and telecommuting looks a lot better.

In IT, there is another problem... ever try rebooting a server while logged into it remotely? Hint: All the connections go away the moment you reboot it. A lot of sites require that you either physically be on site, or take home with you thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (5, Informative)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724862)

In IT, there is another problem... ever try rebooting a server while logged into it remotely? Hint: All the connections go away the moment you reboot it. A lot of sites require that you either physically be on site, or take home with you thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Someone hasn't been keeping up with their enterprise grade equipment management. Just about every major vendor has a solution for this exact problem. I have over 500 servers at my work which I can shutdown, reboot, change BIOS settings, or fsck hard drives all remotely. Sun/Oracle has their ALOM/ILOM. Dell has the iDrac Enterprise. HP has their iLO. IBM has their Remote Management Agent.

Basically they are computers within the computer, with their own separate CPU, network, and OS, which lets you fully manage the production server by giving you the ability to show the console/display of the device send keyboad/mouse commands even at the pre-POST screen of the server itself (just like if you were physically at the keyboard/monitor attached to the system).

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725044)

Yeah, I'm a freaking programmer and I know that.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724870)

"In IT, there is another problem... ever try rebooting a server while logged into it remotely? Hint: All the connections go away the moment you reboot it."

Do it all the time, connect drops, you count to 60, log back in after the reboot, it's not rocket science.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724970)

Mark the above as VERY insightful.
On a different note, I earn about 2 times the pay cut TFA is talking about. Granted, not in the US, but for a Fortune 100 company.
They save enough from my skin :P

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725000)

In IT, there is another problem... ever try rebooting a server while logged into it remotely?

Sure, use IPMI serial-over-LAN (for most newer servers) or a serial console server (for the old servers or routers/switches/etc.), and it is no big deal. With IPMI, if there is a problem, you can "hit" the reset or power switch remotely as well (for non-IPMI you can use remote power switches). If you have to deal with Windows servers, you can use KVM-over-IP switches; some vendors with IPMI also have KVM extensions (often via a web interface).

The only "trick" to it is having out-of-band access to the console server and power switch if you are managing routers and switches remotely. I manage a remote network facility where the only way I can lose access is if three different providers (one telco and two cable) are down or if the power is out for an extended period (but I'll know about power as soon as it fails). You have to think through exactly what is connected where when setting it up, but it isn't magic.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725002)

You also lose some value. How much value obviously depends on the interaction and social skills of the worker, so how much is lost by them not coming to work may not be much. I would take a large pay cut, and move to a nice tropical destination where living expenses are ~$5,000/yr. You can live like a king in beautiful sunny weather for less than $20,000.

Re:Sounds like they have the wrong priority (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725042)

It is one these cases where firms are always tried to minimize cost, and workers pretty much are willing to work for whatever they can get. IT has been suffering form some time of an influx of people who are just trying to make a little money. Such people are often not looking to maintain the value of the profession, but simply trying to make a quick buck.

So, yes, there is cost saving to the firm, and this is a good argument to keep the salary the same, a second issue is involved. If one does not to be physically present to do a job, then why the firm need to employ local staff? In other, at the point of 100% telecommuting, your salary is no longer based on local norms, but on the lowest rates available to firm in whatever large geographical region they find acceptable. This might mean instead of San Francisco rates, one might be competing with people in Arizona where unemployment is 20%. The firm might contract two people to do one job, but still pay less.

So the answer is that I would not want to telecommute 100% of the time. I might want flexible office hours supplemented by out-of office hours, and in a new job that perhaps would justify a less than steller salary, but not a reduction at a current job. Ideally such a job would have a set of required tasks, and the completion of the tasks, not hours, would be driving force.

Depends on company (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724582)

In some companies, telecommuters tend to be forgotten about. This means that Jack Brown-Nose who comes in and does almost nothing will always be seen by the boss and keep an impression, while the co-workers who are at home actually working are invisible. End result: Jack tends to have an edge when it comes to promotions, or even keeping the job.

Visibility and compensation go hand in hand (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724848)

In some companies, telecommuters tend to be forgotten about.

I'd say most companies fit this description.

Visibility is a huge issue for almost every worker out there from the VP to the customer support person.

Telecommuting simply exacerbates this problem. Furthermore, lots of folks are just not motivated (despite thinking they are) to work if there aren't people nearby to motivate them.

Re:Visibility and compensation go hand in hand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35725014)

lots of folks are just not motivated (despite thinking they are) to work if there aren't people nearby to motivate them.

DING DING DING!! I own a small business. The biggest problem for me is motivating myself to work. Now, WTF am I doing on slashdot!!?

Telecommute sounds great, but in practice is crap in long term. From my experience, short term telecommuting is not a problem for motivated employees.

Re:Depends on company (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725020)

And that is why when you work at home, you have to make a little bit of time for face time, as well as working to keep yourself and your works visible to the players instead of just being a black box.

Yes.. well... no.. but no but yes (3, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724590)

I've telecommuted for 5 of the past 6 years.
I've saved thousands of Pounds on the commute into London.
I can spend more time in the morning in bed.
But
You have to be comfortable with your own company.
It can get lonely.
You need the heating on all day in Winter.

On the whole it is great.
Now... If I had a job it would be great. If said job offered me the opportunity to work from home then even better
At the moment, this is all wishful thinking though.

Re:Yes.. well... no.. but no but yes (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724786)

On the bright side, if you telecommute you can be getting a blowjob while working at your computer! Try doing that at work! (I did... does anybody know of any companies hiring programmers in the Portland, Oregon area?)

Re:Yes.. well... no.. but no but yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724976)

I've been telecommuting for the past decade. One of the hardest things to learn is separation of work and home and the transition time that a commute usually provides. Sometimes I go right from full-speed work crisis and step out of office door to full-speed home crisis. On those days I wish I had an hour commute on a train.

Although, if I have a tough problem I'll run some ideas by my office mate. But she usually responds with, "That's silly, daddy."

Yeah all IT pros want to. (0)

Octopuscabbage (1932234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724594)

"IT pros want to telecommute — so much so that more than one-third of those surveyed by Dice.com said they would take a pay cut for the chance to work full time from home" Yes. Obviously all of of the IT professionals want to telecommute if 33% of them say yes. The other 66% do not matter.

Re:Yeah all IT pros want to. (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724706)

The "one-third" you quote is the number willing to take a pay cut to telecommute, not the total number interested in telecommuting. Another 35% was interested in telecommuting at the same pay.

So it's only another 30% that don't matter.

BTW, thank you, network world, for doing that math for me. I was about to break out the slide rule to figure out 10% of my salary.

Re:Yeah all IT pros want to. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724708)

You reading comprehension must be quite low. 33% is the figure of those willing to take pay cuts. I wager that those wishing to telecommute without pay cuts is at least double that.

Re:Yeah all IT pros want to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724888)

You reading comprehension must be quite low. 33% is the figure of those willing to take pay cuts. I wager that those wishing to telecommute without pay cuts is at least double that.

Maybe as high as 2.03 times even!

The real issue with the statement is the typical use of statistics to mislead by saying "up to". One guy could have said he'd take a 10% cut, and the rest of the 33% are only willing to lose 1% and it would be a true statement.

Math is hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724606)

I'm so glad the summary could tell me that 10% of 79,384 is about 7900.

Re:Math is hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724690)

7938.40 to be exact! Had to bust out the calculator for this one.

Seems like a Wash (2)

Kagato (116051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724614)

You'll save 3-6K in gas, parking and transport alone. Pick up another $800-$1500 in phone, cell and internet reimbursement. Get back 1-2 hours of your day that you used to spend commuting. Not a bad deal.

Re:Seems like a Wash (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724922)

You'll save 3-6K in gas, parking and transport alone.

My commute is 6 miles each way. I ride the bike to work on a good day (my daily exercise and 2h of prep, ride and shower time each way) and if I have to drive I'm only out a total of 30-40 min a day.

However, if I were commuting into the city, I'd definitely be up for telecommuting.

Careful what you wish for (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724616)

Pro tip: If your job can be done from your house, it can be done from India.

Re:Careful what you wish for (4, Funny)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724956)

So you're saying I could move to india after starting to telecommute? Sweet.

easy to fire someone who isn't seen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724622)

Full-time telecommuting doesn't really work most places. Unless your work assignments are planned well and can be done truly independently, you've gotta put in some face time to get stuff figured out.

Hell yes. (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724628)

Hell yes. In fact, I just quit my day job so I could restructure as a less-benefits consultant so I could do exactly this.

right (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724632)

Won't you take a pay cut for us. It's the only way to keep the jobs away from those $2 an hour people we know overseas... It's a perfect deal, you get to provide your own office space and we get a fancy new yacht to bang illegal under-age girls on.

Re:right (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724746)

Where are these illegal underaged girls? How much am I being paid to not go investigating this and thus not really know if this is a joke?

Re:right (0)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724826)

Where can I get legal, under-aged girls to have sex with?

Re:right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724866)

Won't you take a pay cut for us. It's the only way to keep the jobs away from those $2 an hour people we know overseas... It's a perfect deal, you get to provide your own office space and we get a fancy new yacht to bang illegal under-age girls on.

Well if you really want to, you could bang illegal under-age girls in your new home office.

Simply put, no (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724636)

Firstly, I don't make as much as the average tech pro. Secondly, I live ten minutes from my workplace. Telecommuting can be beneficial for some, but it's entirely circumstantial.

Re:Simply put, no (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724918)

Firstly, I don't make as much as the average tech pro.

So... what's the weather like in Bangalore today?

Absolutely. (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724642)

Transportation is budgeted as my #2 expense, just behind rent. Last year I had major car issues, and transportation may have exceeded housing in raw $ spent. Add to that the amount of time I would save and it becomes even more obvious.

No (5, Insightful)

Rurik (113882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724644)

You save money on time and logistics, but you also have to create a work area in your home. Certain organizations have sqft requirements. You also need to establish locked areas to hold files and documents. And, ultimately, you're no longer allowed to check-out. With a standard job you are expected to be responsive during your normal work hours (say 9--5:30). With telecommuting the work hours shift and you will easily find yourself on call 12 hours a day. Additionally, you lose camaraderie with your coworkers, a chance to hunker down and drive through projects faster, and possible extensive delays in communications.

Then factor in the possibility of children banging down the door to play, and the guilt you feel by having to shuffle them out to finish a project. Then a spouse who takes advantage of you "being there" for babysitting, phone calls, emotional chats, and I'd rather be at work during the day.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724814)

Then a spouse who takes advantage of you "being there" for babysitting, phone calls, emotional chats, and I'd rather be at work during the day.

That's the truth.

You: "I can't spend the afternoon running errands. I'm working."
SO: "But, you're home. I'm not."

Re:No (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724860)

Then factor in the possibility of children banging down the door to play, and the guilt you feel by having to shuffle them out to finish a project. Then a spouse who takes advantage of you "being there" for babysitting, phone calls, emotional chats, and I'd rather be at work during the day.

You hit the nail on the head; that's exactly why I don't even try to telecommute. I tried setting up a room in my house with computers where I could go in, lock the door, and write software. My daughter would invariably starting banging on the door until I opened it, even if I spanked her for doing so. And my wife who feels that any whim she has is automatically the highest priority for the family doesn't see anything wrong with interrupting me no matter what I happen to be doing at the time to ask me to explain to her something I've already told her multiple times how to do.

So, yeah... telecommuting is great, provided you live alone.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35725032)

Wake your wife up when you want a sandwich at 2am because you're catching up on the work she interrupted. Do this every time she interrupts you at work unless it's actually important. It took me years to train my wife that "I'm in my office working" means "I'm in my office working", not "I'm home, so come ask me to fold the laundry". Oddly enough, she eventually got a job where she works from home, so now she understands from a personal perspective rather than one of me just telling her.

What about the ability to socialize? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724658)

If it weren't for the office, I probably would never meet another soul. If anything, you should probably pay me more to not be around people.

Re:What about the ability to socialize? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724896)

With some of the people I've worked with that have burst into my office screaming at me, or burst into private meeting threatening to beat me up, I'm not seeing the downside to not seeing people at the office. (As a contractor, you have zero recourse no matter how badly people treat you.)

No but only because my commute is 20 min. (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724662)

If my commute was longer, 45min+ and/or there was no parking I would take a small pay cut. By small I mean, savings of not driving or buying a parking pass. So probably 5%. However, I already get to work from home at least twice a week and my commute is only 20-25 min without a pay cut.

Indeed (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724666)

I moved from Cleveland to Seattle about a year ago and now I telecommute all the time. It definitely saves on gas and lunch expenses, since I usually just eat leftovers now. Overall, it's hard for me to say whether it's been like a raise or not since the cost of living is a bit higher here, but there is no state income tax. It is hard to put a price on the ability to roll out of bed, make a cup of copy, and start working.

Re:Indeed (2)

folderol (1965326) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724778)

If you "roll out of bed, make a cup of copy" you've been working alone too long!

Not Me (4, Interesting)

Greenisus (262784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724678)

I work for Rackspace full time from home, and I'm paid the same as I would be at the office. Whether I work from home or not is ultimately irrelevant, because the most important variable of all is loving your job. I work where I do because it is a truly amazing place to work.

That said, volunteering a pay cut is risky business. Your salary is a gauge of how much your company values you, so you should try to get as much as you possibly can.

A few things to keep in mind:

1. If you telecommute, it's also cheaper for the employer (less electricity, water, bandwidth, etc)
2. If you take a pay cut, any time you get a raise it's going to be less than it could have been, since most companies do raises as a percentage of your current salary
3. The downside of working exclusively from home is that it's easier to not get noticed. If you're not getting much face time with your peers, you better be doing some amazing work

I can't telecommute (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724686)

because I do desktop support, including hardware diagnosis and repair.

However, in general I think being able to telecommute would be worth a small pay cut on account of less wear-and-tear on your car, less gas expended, and the extra free time - I drive 1:40 each day, round trip.

Couldn't sleep in later, though, because my kid needs me in the mornings.

As long as it was all the time (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724698)

I wouldn't take a pay cut, but I'd consider it a raise during an economy where most companies are stingy with raises. I could save $5000 a year on car costs alone (I'd only need one car if I worked from home). The trick is, to save that much cash, I would have to get rid of a car. That means I couldn't come in without planning far ahead. Most of the people in my company that work from home do it 2-3 days a week. I wouldn't want that.

Just remember... (3, Interesting)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724714)

If you can telecommute full time and do your job from the comfort of home, then so can anyone in the world. You're now competing with folks who would be happy to have your job at 10% of what you're paid -- not just a 10% discount!

Re:Just remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724930)

THIS. Mention telecommuting and people think about "Oh, I don't have to go to work, I just go down the hall." And that's the wrong way to look at it.

If your job can be telecommuted, then it is not much different from phone support (so you use IP instead of voice; big deal), which has been outsourced on a large scale. Don't think you're specially immune from these forces.

Re:Just remember... (3, Interesting)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725026)

I'm a software developer. A couple of years ago I interviewed with a small VOIP startup. The owner was Indian. He was replacing the positions he had outsourced in India with American developers because even with no cultural or language clashes he had trouble getting the level of quality he expected. While I'm sure it isn't the case with every position or every foreign subcontractor, the man was quite irrate that he was in fact getting what he was paying for.

Hah! Some of my coworkers got a 10% pay RAISE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724718)

Company based in Oregon. Employees who live and/or work in Oregon pay Oregon income tax on their pay.

Employees who BOTH live AND work in Washington do not, as Washington has no income tax.

We have three employees in our department who took odd-hours shifts solely because those shifts mandate working from home. All three live in Washington. All three got an effective 10+% pay raise by no longer having to pay Oregon income tax. (Plus no commuting costs.) We only have one other Washington-domiciled employee in the department, and he's lobbying for another off-hours-shift position.

Nope. (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724732)

For me, no. The value of what I do, the requirements and qualifications needed to do the work, and my employability elsewhere are not reduced by telecommuting (or lack thereof). Telecommuting is a perk, not compensation... and if it's the only way to get the job done (i.e. the employer is a "virtual office"), then it's just part of the circumstances of employment (and therefore still is not compensation).

If the same amount of work gets done, the same amount of salary gets paid. If someone else views telecommuting as a part of compensation or salary, fine for them, but I won't allow an employer to claim that for me.

On the contraary (3, Funny)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724744)

I work from home sometimes with a wife and four kids. I'd take a pay cut to be forced to go into the office.

If I telecommute (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724750)

Then that means someone else lifts the servers, swaps the backup tapes/HDDs, gets interrupted by users while reading /.
Of course, that means I can't completely trust the servers or backup media. I'll always trust the users to find a way to interrupt me, so they're not a factor. In short, pay me more because I'm entailing more risk by being responsible for systems that I have less trust in.

No (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724790)

I used to want that, but the more work I had that I could take home, the less it seemed like a good idea. To me that's like asking "Would you take a pay cut to always be on the job and move all your office crap in your bedroom?" Not a chance in hell.

It's not a pay cut (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724810)

When you factor in the full cost of commuting (fuel, maintenance, parking, higher food costs) 10% in some cases would be money ahead. Moreover, the entire time consumed by commuting, including dressing for outdoors, finding the keys, etc, is saved also. For me that would be around 2 additional hours a day I could spend doing something else, like, well, working.

When I see this .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724828)

Last month, Dice warned that IT tech talent poaching is expected to get more aggressive this year. A combination of factors -- including growing numbers of unfilled job openings and underpaid employees who want more lucrative jobs -- is causing a hiring rush that's expected to worsen.

With so many unemployed people, why is there so much poaching?

Oh yeah, if you're out of work, you're no good.

OK, so I'm no good. I'll borrow some money and get retrained in something else (the solution of many who have no clue). Let's see, where is there a demand? Hmmmmm. No where. Nursing shortage? Ahahahahahahah. Guess what! There's hiring freezes because hospitals have budget problems because - Unemployed people have no health insurance and can't pay their bill, jackass.

So, something else right? Well then, you run into this: He went to school because he couldn't get a job and therefore there's something wrong with him.

You can't fucking win.

Start a business? Really?!? been there done that: failed three times. It's not easy . If it were, everyone would do it because just about everyone wants to work for themselves and be their own man!

For the "consultants" out there:

Unless you're drumming up business (you're your own sales guy) and have multiple customers, being a S-Corp/1099 "consultant" working for one company or a contracting firm isn't a real business - it's just a tax status.

Rant over. Another day has passed where I haven't shot myself - I'm doing good.

Easy! (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724830)

Just in gas, it typically costs me $7800/yr in gas. So add in wear and tear plus insurance savings, its likely a break even at worst. For most people, working from home saves money for both the employee and the employer.

I already accepted a pay cut (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724884)

I live in small city, I drive a big 5minutes each days but my salary is about a third (I use to think that I could double it but I recently turn down an offer at a conference and it was 3 times my current salary) of what it could be in a big city. But a paycut to stay home, no fucking way, not with a 5minutes drive....

I'd take a bigger cut than that (2, Interesting)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724910)

I'm a single guy. If I could fully telecommute, I would take a $20k pay cut for sure and spend time traveling to Europe etc.

Asking the wrong question? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724920)

At my office, the longest commute for anyone is maybe 20 minutes in traffic. Personally, my commute is about 5 minutes.

We are a web company, yet highly value being in the office. In fact, people have left telecommuting jobs and moved states just to come work in the office with us.

In addition, coworking spaces are huge now. These locations are filled with people that are technically telecommuters, but they are tired of not being around other people and are sick of the "Starbucks office."

So to me the question "would you take a pay cut to telecommute?" misses the point entirely. People are willing to take pay cuts to work in better environments. If that means leaving the office to telecommute, leaving your job to work at a smaller company, leaving your job to start a company, or volunteering to move to a different office across the country, people will do it if they believe that the value added by the change or the potential it offers outweighs the loss of income.

No (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35724936)

I don't know anyone, except managers, who have had pay rises (even to keep up with inflation) in the last few years. Effectively, this is already a pay cut.

I wouldn't take any more of a cut, but I would consider working from home 2 or 3 days a week for the same money. That way I get to save a bit to make up for some of the inflationary pay cut and the company gets to save of "overheads" so the "investors" get a bigger earning per share this quarter.

No, and here's why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35724950)

I worked remotely for about five years, and it was really cool at first. But it got very old. I worked at my apartment, by myself, and communicated with my team mostly through IRC.

One problem with telecommuting, at least for me, was that I liked what I did (software development) and so at the end of "the day" I had a tendency to keep working. It was a lot of fun at first, because we were building awesome software and it was fun to be a part of. But after a few years of doing that, you just get tired of always fucking being at home. It gets depressing. You could argue that I should have gone and hung out in coffee shops whilst hacking, but that just isn't really my thing.

You also might talk about saving money. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. I mean, I know I wasn't spending much money on gas. But I also live in Texas, and it gets pretty fucking hot here so I was leaving the air conditioner on all day. That gets to be pretty expensive.

Now I work at an office about 15 minutes away. It's awesome, because I have people in the same office to communicate with. It's small, there are only four hackers, but that's the way I like it. I certainly don't regret working from home for so long, but I'm glad to be done with it. I'm sure it works fine for other types of people, but for me it was not a great situation.

Hell yes! (1)

ImperialXT (1938692) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725008)

I'd find it so useful, because it means that if they want say a once a week face to face meeting I could live further away out in the bush(I love being in the bush, but I also 3 my internet) so I'd drive in once a week for the meeting or something. I'd love to do it.

No (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725018)

I hate telecommuting. I am completely unproductive. All I do is surf Slashdot all day.

Wait ...

I Dunno (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35725036)

I dunno, would my bank take a cut in my mortgage payment if I went into work less?

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