Telecommuting: A Remote Possibility

Thursday, January 01, 2015

As my wife finishes her medical sub-specialty training, we each face a job hunt during the coming year. Along with that pursuit come the usual concerns about cost-of-living and quality of life, along with the increased difficulty of two professionals coordinating a job hunt. Viewed in that light, the thought of telecommuting is tantalizing. Unfortunately, it is still largely ... just a thought.

Few companies take advantage of the new technologies that make remote employment possible -- including those located in one of the most expensive places on earth to live, California's Bay Area:

If 95% of great programmers aren't in the US, and an even higher percentage not in the Bay Area, set up your company to take advantage of that fact as a strength, not a weakness. Use WordPress and P2, use Slack, use G+ Hangouts, use Skype, use any of the amazing technology that allows us to collaborate as effectively online as previous generations of company did offline. Let people live someplace remarkable instead of paying $2,800 a month for a mediocre one bedroom rental in San Francisco. Or don’t, and let companies like Automattic and Github hire the best and brightest and let them live and work wherever they like.
As tech blogger Matt Mullenweg indicates, the idea is controversial despite the advantages he stresses. Indeed, Marissa Meyer had her reasons for ending Yahoo's popular work-from-home policy shortly after she took the helm.

Sooner or later, innovations in management will catch up to those in technology, but we're clearly not there yet.

-- CAV

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