Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime
It reminds me of the joke where a guy gets sent to prison for life. The first night he's trying to sleep and in the darkness he hears someone shout, "Number 17!". The entire jail breaks out in peals of laughter. After a while, another voice shouts out, "Number 756!" followed by even more uproarious laughter.
After a while, the guy turns to his cell mate in the lower bunk and says, "What the hell is going on? Why are people laughing at these numbers?" His cell mate chuckles. "You know, we have all been in this prison for so long that we've told the same jokes over an over again because we used them all up. So we decided that to save time, we would number each one. Now all we have to do is say the number."
"That's unreal!" he exclaims in disbelief. He thinks for a while, "Hey, can I try that? What's a really funny one?"
His cell mate thinks for a while, then says, "Oh, hey try this one. Number 367. Gets them every time."
So the newbie stands up and shouts "Number 367!" Silence. He tries it again, "Number 367!" Silence again.
"Hey, what's up?! I thought you said this joke was funny?" he demands, exasperated and a bit embarrassed.
"It's not the joke you're telling that's not funny, man," His cell mate replies, "it's the way you're telling it!"
HP To Cut Back On Telecommuting
For me, the problem with telecommuting isn't the amount of distraction (although kids + wife do seem to cause some chaos--and when it gets too bad, I find myself at a local coffee house with free wireless), or even the lack of access to coworkers.
The problem is with the blurring of the lines between normal work hours and off-time. I have a 100% telecommute programming gig with a company in a nearby city, and I have to say it reminds me of when I was in college and could never relax because there was always homework to do or a midterm to study for.
In a course of a typical day. I might get distracted with something my family needs, then find myself coming back and working extra time that day to make up for the distraction. Before I know it, I'm putting in well over 40 hours in a typical work week. Or, I sometimes will break for dinner, then come back to a nagging problem and spend hours into the night working until I feel like I made enough progress to quit. Weekend time? I have to force myself to get away from the computer or I will find myself working again.
The advantage of going into an office is that I can leave work at work. With telecommuting, I don't take my work home with me at all--my work is home with me.