Seventeen telecommuting pet peeves


12. You have to work harder to form interpersonal relationships. There's no small talk while getting coffee from a vending machine during a break in the meeting. That limits group effectiveness, but more importantly, it sucks a lot of the enjoyment out of the work experience.

13. You don't get the office gossip. This might sound like an advantage to those who are weary of never-ending tattletales, but it's yet another way for telecommuters to fall out of the loop. On a personal level, it means you don't know about a coworker's family bereavement so you can sent a card; you don't learn that someone got engaged, became a grandparent or took a leave of absence. Professionally, it means you don't hear about decisions that affect your work, and you miss general news from other departments, such as and transfers.

14. Your family and friends don't understand that you're working at home. You aren't hanging around, ready to take on any "honey-do" task and infinitely interruptible. Too many people assume that you have all day every day to take care of logistics, with no work responsibilities. Training children that "Daddy's working" is hard. Training spouses is worse. (Pets, however, believe that is the best place to sleep. That's not necessarily a disadvantage, though.)

15. Out of site (pun intended), out of mind.Telecommuters can sometimes feel as though they wear an invisibility cloak. You have to make an extra effort to connect with coworkers and clients. You can't just stop by somebody's office to get a quick question answered; you need to wait for him to respond to an e-mail message or phone call. Few people treat those communications media with the same urgency as someone standing at their office door.

16. Some employers make telecommuting difficult.Some companies still frown on telecommuting because they are sure that to actually, gasp, work at home. Thus they put ridiculous and arbitrary barriers in place. For example: requiring staff to create a work plan with management approval on what you would work on, then file a report a day later indicating how much you got done. (Yes, that's a true story.)