The Future of Telecommuting
Yonatan Zunger

Two interrelated topics I’d volunteer: 1) Hierarchical team structure won’t adopt telecommuting until managers relinquish the 19th century tradition of never trusting their employees. 2) Some people cannot get their information points across without “being there”.

I’ve personally telecommuted for 12 years now; various jobs, some W2 some 1099. Those who hired me were mostly excellent written communicators. One just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Information workers (programmers like me) rely upon documentation. Verbal *anything* is nearly useless — if not captured by someone documenting what was said. Frankly, I just don’t need to ever see your face or shake your hand to write software.

1+2) Managers that are excellent written communicators make the best telecommute bosses. “Hangouts” are okay, for hashing out conflicts of understanding, but when it comes down to it — if you can’t write or draw or design what you want produced or intend to produce — you have no business working from home as an information worker.

It’s a matter of physical communication skills. “It’s the specs man!”

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