Wednesday, June 29, 2005
June 28, 2005
While many recent submissions deal with the 9/80 issue, I have not seen anyone mention telecommuting. With broadband computer access now widely available, trusted employees should be allowed to work from home one or more days a week, at times that are acceptable to them and their supervisor (up to group level management). The benefits to parking, gas consumption and traffic congestion are obvious.
These include, but are not limimted to:
experimental work (e.g., Hyrdotests)
fabrication work (e.g., Main Shop)
Office Management (e.g., Group Office Administrator)
Computer Hardware Support
Facility Operations (e.g., LANSCE) Payroll
There are also jobs that require very frequent interaction with others and for which productivity would really suffer if one or more members of the team were telecommuting. These include but are not limited to:
Personnel Administration (HR)
I suspect that when the list is complete, very VERY few job assignments will be found to suitable for telecommuting. Also, in the past, we dealt with LANL employees that other groups had permitted to work from home for various reasons, usually child care. I can state that it did not work out very well and the productivity was quite poor. Not that there was any suspicion that the individuals were not diligent, it's just that face-to-face communications are very important in an R&D environment.
CCS division has had an official work-at-home policy for several years, with memos in place allowing several staff members to work at home 1, or in some cases 2, days per week.
In my opinion it shows that the managers trust staff, and staff appreciate it greatly.
I don't know of any requests for work-at-home that have been denied, but I also don't know of any requests from anyone living in Los Alamos (most are from folks living in Santa Fe or Albuquerque).
I haven't heard of complaints that some are allowed to do this.
Add to your list:
Anybody who must deal with classified matter as part of their routine job assignment.
> Could that be because they did not know about it until now?
Is it possible not everyone in the division is aware of the work-at-home policy? Sure.
Do I think that's the reason no one is complaining about it? No.
Do I think some people will find something to complain about no matter what? Absolutely.
Our sub-group secretary was promptly called up and told in no uncertain terms that a non-exempt employee could not take her work home. She stood up to the questioner--Why did he think a woman couldn't be a Staff member?
As an exempt employee, I once worked at home on a LANL project on my own computer to meet a deadline. I did not request to be paid for the work because I was exempt. When the Chief of Staff found out I was told I could not work at home again. If I was going to put in extra work, I had to come in to work to do it. I never figured out why but I quit working at home even on weekends and evenings. I would probably have put in more hours had I been allowed to work at home, but with being forced to work in the office, I just did the job the fastest possible way.
The only cases I have heard of where that has happened is when the line manager is too much of a weakling to tell the employee themself.
Of course not.