David B. Grinberg

Interesting points, Peter — albeit a bit controversial about contracting out rank-and-file civilian gov jobs overseas. I think that some folks may perceive such a move as being a bit un-patriotic or un-American, at least on a superficial level (not that you are, of course, Peter, just the concepts. I know you’re a great and patriotic American who honorably serves the U.S. gov).

But back to your other point about being in the office because one can show “why my boss needs me close by as much as possible…” I suppose it depends how one defines the term “close by” with today’s digital/mobile technology becoming ever more advanced so quickly.

I can understand that it may appear to a supervisor that a worker is far away with only telephone or email access. However, with Skyping, Google+ Hangouts, and video conferencing, for example, aren’t employees close enough in the 21st century? It’s not like teleworkers are communicating via homing pigeons or by Morse Code.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that the traditional office structure should be entirely replaced by remote work. However, I am advocating for mandatory minimum telework requirements for all eligible employees — a determination made by one’s manager/supervisor and HR. Of course, some jobs will never be conducive to remote work (although those folks may be replaced by robots in the future).

So what’s wrong with an in-office employee working remotely at least one day per pay period? This would help ease the transition to the virtual workplace that is coming our way whether we like it or not?

Have you seen that TV commercial with a robot in a school room in place of a sick or disabled kid, with the kid communicating virtually via real-time video tech with the teacher and class? Could the same concept be carried over to the workplace at some future time?

Your points are certainly valid in many respects, Peter. Yet, as I’ve said, we can run but we can’t hide from 21st century technology and the coming virtual work world. We all need to learn how to ride this massive wave rather than being crushed under it. Thanks for considering these counter points.