The lighter side of the dark side of telework

Monday - 3/14/2011, 4:00am EDT

In the latest issue of PC Magazine, John C. Dvorak bears his soul a bit and gives six reasons why he thinks telework "is not all that it is cracked up to be," for private sector workers. Three of those reasons would apply to federal teleworkers too, at least in theory.

All spouses hate telework. "There are two kinds of spouses," writes Dvorak: "ones that stay at home and ones that work. They will both hate you if you telework. You are either in the way when they are there, or they're jealous of you if you get to work from home and they cannot." However, this overlooks the fact that as a teleworker, you're so much happier and nicer to be around, it's impossible to see you as being in the way. As for the jealousy thing... He may have something there.

You are expected to do housework if you work at home. According to Dvorak, "You are in the house, so do some work. Or else! Spouses will constantly ask you 'What did you do all day?'" His conclusion: "Great! Now you have two bosses." But if you think about it, don't you have that now? Or some form of dual spouses? Many of us have a work-wife or work-husband anyway. It's not all that different.

You do too much work when you telework. Study after study finds teleworkers putting in more than 40 hours a week. There's some discussion about whether this is to fight off any notion teleworkers are slacking, if it's because it's so easy concentrate on what you're doing that you lose track of time, or maybe it's just because you can. By doing more while teleworking, Dvorak argues, management will expect you to do more work in the office. To this, most would probably respond, "good point."

For the other reasons John C. Dvorak no longer thinks telework is a great idea, see The 6 Snags of Telework at PCMag.com.