Technology Improves Telecommuting

With eWEEKs offices in the process of moving down the block and the new space not quite ready, many of us here have been working from our home offices. In fact, this entire issue of eWeek was written, edited, designed and shipped to the printer in a virtual environment.

This was my first extended telecommuting experience; all my others have been one-off days to accommodate sick kids, busted water heaters, doctors appointments and so forth. I never thought I could do it. In fact, I am reminded of a column from October 2000, when I wrote a tongue-in-cheek account of what my day would be like if I did work from home. In short, I didnt get much done, as the TV, fridge, errands and nice weather outside stole my attention.

Unfortunately, some readers without a sense of humor took me seriously, accused me of giving true home-office workers a bad name and ultimately took all the fun out of the joke for me. Now that I am really telecommuting, at least temporarily, I can say that I have progressed (matured?) greatly in the past six-plus years because I am actually getting stuff done—at least, a lot more than I used to.

Technology advancements have helped as well. Speed of processing and connectivity is better, and now I have this neat little SwitchView DVI box from Avocent, which allows me to work with my home monitor and other peripherals, significantly aiding my productivity rather than being hunched over my laptop screen.

Now, I would not recommend this as an everyday thing—mainly because of the lack of mission-critical infrastructure supporting the home offices. We have only the corporate VPN to connect us all together, but no storage or power backup systems. In addition, if I were an executive for a company in a more security-sensitive business, I would be worried sick any time I saw an employee carrying his or her laptop out of the office, not to mention a memory stick in a briefcase.

But more people than ever are working remotely, either at home or on the road, and that number will continue to grow. More convenient and secure solutions made available to your remote employees will help transform them—and your business.

Contact eWEEK Editor Scot Petersen at

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...