There are a lot of reasons to embrace teleworking: a better work-life balance, cutting out a polluting and unhealthy commute, saving money on office real estate and gas, and even boosting productivity. Given the advantages, we’d like to see more businesses adopt telework policies for their workers (looking at you, Yahoo!) and more government policies enable remote working.We think, however, that this San Francisco city supervisor is taking this line of thinking a little too far. The AP reports:
Supervisor David Chiu’s measure would allow workers to ask their employers to adjust their start times, telecommute or job share.Employers would only be able to deny the request if it created an undue hardship for the company, including increasing its costs or affecting its ability to meet customer or client needs.
Chiu’s goal is sound, but this is the wrong way to go. Telework has big advantages for businesses and for workers, but it is more workable in some situations than others. Employers understand their businesses far better than government officials, and we believe that they are best equipped to make smart decisions about when and where telework can help their business.Instead of mandating telework, governments at the local, state, and national level should be working to make the choice more attractive for businesses. Setting an example by creating telework policies for government would be a good start. (This has already been done at the federal level.) Even better, governments should consider offering tax incentives to employees who work from home offices.Let’s see more carrot, and less stick.[Telecommuting image courtesy of Shutterstock]