Angelenos have had to weather some serious downpours over the last few weeks, subjecting daily commuters to pothole jolts, traffic tie-ups, fender-benders, and more. Productivity can be affected as a result, with workers arriving late to work, exhausted and frustrated. Can these problems be minimized through alternative work arrangements, such as allowing employees to work from home or from closer-to-home satellite offices? To find out whether telecommuting is a viable option, The Business Journal Forum asks:
Are you open to allowing your employees to telecommute?
KPMG Peat Marwick
“I’m very open. My attitude is, as long as the employees are performing, I really don’t have an opinion regarding where they do their work. Obviously, there are times when people need to get together in an office, but if someone has a specific project and can do it somewhere else, great. I guess the proof is in the pudding if the results are there, then telecommuting is fine.”
Senior Vice President
Fidelity Federal Bank
“Where it makes sense from a functional standpoint, we’re all for it. We introduced a telecommuting policy in our property appraisal area, and it has worked out very well for both us and the people involved. I don’t believe we’re considering expansion of the policy at this time, but we would if the nature of the work lent itself to telecommuting.”
Ace Clearwater Enterprises
“We’re extremely open to accommodating our employees. However, we’re in a manufacturing industry, and I need the employees to be here to produce our products. There are some support or administrative staff that can work from home. For example, our MIS director and HR consultant are able to do much of their work from home. Our controller also works from home quite a bit because of his long commute. We’re able to do it because we set up modem lines. So, where it’s appropriate, we definitely accommodate our employees.”
Drexel L. Smith
Vice President , Program Development
Wyle Laboratories Inc.
“The official company position is that folks are expected to work in their offices as assigned. We have established this position because we don’t have a mechanism or set of ground rules to do otherwise. However, we do allow managers to authorize telecommuting where it’s appropriate. For example, we have a sizable research staff, and the majority have laptop or portable computers provided to them to encourage them to do work wherever they may be.”
Executive Vice President
Tishman Construction of California
Presently, we don’t have any employees who do it. It would be difficult since most of our work is project-related and requires people to be on-site. Those who would be able to telecommute are those more in support roles, such as in our finance or estimating areas. We have never considered it as a way of doing business, but we would be open to it in administrative work.”