This article shows that some of the things we might believe about telecommuting just aren't true. If you think that working from home is a perk employers give to working moms, think again. More men than women telecommute, and employees who do so are just as likely not to have children as they are to have them.
This is one reason we have to stop confining family-friendly conversations to women. Not that we forbid men from talking about flexibility or using it (clearly the opposite is true), but we need to stop relegating work and family issues to the women's section of the bookstore or the newspaper. In fact, I think that might be part of the problem. When we label something a "women's issue", it makes it seem like women are looking for special treatment. There's plenty of scholarship to show that women seldom take advantage of special programs meant just for them--they're afraid that they'll be perceived as less committed once they admit they're mothers, and for good reason.
There are lots of other facts worth looking into. The article shows that
- flexibility is inexpensive
- telecommuting is not even available at many companies
- flexibility can't be implemented without oversight and supervision
Myths about flexibility and telecommuting persist, but it's smart to look at the facts before we make assumptions. If we do, we may be surprised at how little our fears reflect reality.