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The Wall Street Journal for Wednesday, Jan. 31, had an article pertinent to
this discussion on page B-1: "For 'Extreme Telecommuters,' Remote Work Means
Really Remote." How timely! The article describes the pleasures, pains, and
productivity of workers who "live countries -- even continents -- apart from
their companies' home offices, indulging a way of life others only dream
The article goes onto say that, "Even though companies are getting more
selective about who their telecommuters are, the phenomenon is still growing
world-wide. In the U.S. last year, an estimated 24 million people regularly
or occasionally telecommuted, according to the International Telework
Association and Council, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group that promotes
telecommuting. That is up 21% from the year before. In Europe, estimates
have the figure at about 10 million for the ast two years. And in 16
Asia-Pacific countries, at least 3.3 million workers telecommute at least ne
day a month, up 27% from a year earlier, according to consultants at Jala
International Inc., in Los Angeles."
The so-called "extreme telecommuting," say from Bali to NY, is still the
exception. According to Gil Gordon, a telecommuting consultant in Monmouth
Junction, NJ, "If it happens, it's usually one of two reasons: They are
entrepreneurs of some kind and their work is ultimately portable. Or, they
are highly skilled people and have their employer over a barrel."
And later in the same article, "But just as many companies and workers are
finding that run-of-the-mill telecommuting isn't everything it's cracked up
to be, the extreme telecommuters have their troubles, too." It goes on to
detail some of them.
Anyway, I thought that these excerpts might help the discussion and give
some real numbers from a respectable source, even though they're not limited
to tech communication. You may be able to view the entire article online
(though it may be limited to subscribers -- not sure), or you may be able to
find the entire paper at your local library. I think it's worth reading, and
maybe worth dreaming about working from an exotic locale on a dreary
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