My colleague sent me this article "Could telecommuting be a career mistake?" Working from home for the past 3 years, I was a little sensitive about the title, what will the article say about me? The author Anita Bruzzese made some interesting points I agree with and some I am not too sure about.

At Sun, about 60% of employees do not have assigned offices. It is definitely not for everyone due to personal preference or circumstances. But, for many, it is an ideal situation. The company can hire the most capable employees for their projects and do not have to relocate them close to the team. In today's global economy, most people are part of multiple teams and have team members in multiple locations. The work/life balance is also important and essential for many employees with families.

I know for me, when I worked in the office 5 days a week, I spent most of my time emailing and exchanging voicemails with people in different locations. Working on global applications, 90% of my customers, vendors and partners were not in the same state, much less the same country. With Collaborative Tools like Instant Messenger (IM), desktop video conferencing and data conferencing, we are always connected. I see and talk to my colleagues more now than ever before.

My colleague and I used to work on the same campus in different buildings. We only saw each other once a week for staff meetings. Since we both started working from home, I see and talk to him every single day. We have a chat room open all the time and drop urls into the chat and ask questions to everyone, nobody in particular. We do not have to go down our phone directory calling people until we get an answer. We know when people are in a meeting or concentrating on heads down work.

Just the other day, we had a team meeting and before we logged off, I said "See you all tomorrow". My Director in Boston, MA did a double-take responding, "We are? Yes, I forgot, we will see each other tomorrow on video." It is so typical and normal for us to "see" each other on video, we take it for granted and do not even realize we are actually "seeing" each other! Seeing is no longer limited to the traditional in person or in real life anymore. Technology has changed our definition to include virtually on video or virtual reality like Second Life and Wonderland.