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Open thread: Could you work, full time, from home?

Microsoft wants businesses to close their offices on May 23 and have people work from home wherever possible. Could you?

We're not entirely sure that Rosanna Davison works from home...
We're not entirely sure that Rosanna Davison works from home...

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO, on the cusp of a mysterious new millennium, it seemed inevitable that one day the modern office would be a thing of the past – and that the majority of us would be working from home.

While lifestyle technology rarely moves as fast as many of us think, it’s still a fact that almost two-thirds of people commute for over an hour to get to work, while two-thirds of commuters also regularly work longer hours than they are scheduled to.

A survey published yesterday showed that almost half of Irish workers regularly face complaints from their partners for coming home late – a necessity which 55 per cent of workers say is a direct cause of having to work overtime as a result of their commute.

In an effort to see whether telecommuting (as it used to be called) is a more viable option in 2012, Microsoft is challenging businesses to participate in a Work Wherever Wednesday on May 23 – with companies such as HP, Nokia, O2, Bank of Ireland and Insomnia have already signed up (though, to be honest, we’re assuming that the Insomnia employees won’t include the ones actually making the coffee).

Microsoft says the average commuter could reclaim almost an hour of sleep per day by not having to get up early for a commute, and those taking public transport could save as much as €2,000 on travel fares a year.

While the initiative is specifically aimed at highlighting the role that cloud computing can play in allowing businesses to easily move employees from one place to another (like a client’s office, or leaving them at home), it could also service as an unusual social experiment.

So – this morning, as most of you settle into a well-earned weekend, we’re wondering: do you reckon you could work from home on a full-time basis (if you don’t already)?

Would your job be flexible enough to accommodate it – and would your boss let you?

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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