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Choice: of employee and employer, with legal recourse for both.

by KID,
I began working at home when at IBM in 2000 when they wanted to save money by reducting office space. Since then, sometimes permanent W@H and other times just a few days per week, varying in the number. I prefer it, but then I've never been abused. If I choose to respond to an email off-hours, it's my choice to assess the importance of the task and of my standing in the company.

I've learned these things:

1. Managers often need training to manage remote employees. There's no guarantee that the best person for the job will be in your town or even want to move there. Learn how to manage people remotely and you'll bring value to your company and succeed as a manager. The world will be your oyster.

2. Some employees may have innate skills to work on their own and manage their time, and some may not. It can be trained but there will always be the personality who doesn't work enough or works too much. Choice also comes into it; if the employee wants to learn, training should be offered. If they don't, then they're tied to working locally. It should be their choice.

3. Laws need to protect the employee who is forced to work beyond the hours they wish to work (evidence required), as well as the employer whose employees don't perform their duties while at home (evidence required). Both need protection: from those who abuse the system and from those who abuse their staff.

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