At a blog called Saving Advice, I found this post last week: 16 Arguments You Can Take to Your Boss on Why You Should be Allowed to Telecommute. The comments on this article are valuable as well.
We’ve been talking about the possibilities of telecommuting at work. We wouldn’t be able to do it every day, obviously. This is a library, and the library has to stay open to serve the students. However, about 98% of the work we do is either online or on a computer, and it would be easy to telecommute at least one day per week. I know that some colleges have gone to a four-day work week, to save on the college’s energy bills and the employees’ gas costs. I don’t know what those college’s libraries have done, though. Traditionally, college libraries are open 7 days/week. There is one university library in Florida that, because of budget cuts, is now closed on Saturdays. But closing on a weekday is not in the cards for us. Everyone might be able to telecommute one day a week, but it wouldn’t be the same day.
The college would never officially approve telecommuting, I think. Unless they’re going to shut the whole campus down for one day, it won’t save them any money. If they do shut down for one day, it’s going to be a weekend day. No help for the telecommuters there.
So, although I have a job where telecommuting would be possible, it’ll probably never happen – until the great influenza epidemic strikes, and everyone has to stay home. Then, we’ll be working from home for sure. Students will have to take all their classes online. A lot of them are already doing this, and all of our courses have a web component, so that wouldn’t be so hard to achieve. The semester-long class I teach is 100% online; that would continue without a blip.
But until the great disaster happens, I’m pretty sure that telecommuting will not be officially approved here. However, it might be that we could do it unofficially, a couple of days per month. We’ll see.