Thursday, March 01, 2007

Non-Essential Worker

Today was one of those days I truly appreciate being a high-tech professional. Waking up this morning, seeing 6 inches of snow on the ground, knowing that was just the beginning of what was going to be a very long and sloppy day, I decided to work from home. I don’t do blizzards.

I often take for granted what a luxury being able to declare “I’m not driving in this crap so I’ll work from home” is, but I got a major reminder today. Time on my couch was interrupted by the realization that I was required to conduct a job interview at the office. On my way in, I witnessed several accidents during my 5 mile, 45 minute drive into the office. The 1 hour drive back home was just the reminder I needed on how lucky I am to work from my house when the weather is bad, or I am running a fever, or when the dogs are suffering from diarrhea.

Many companies are allowing their employees the opportunity to work from home if the job permits, even if only on occasion. This is a practice I deeply commend. There are so many benefits to this if managed well, higher productivity and employee retention just to name a few. There are also times when giving employees this choice lends itself to the greater good of the community. Tomorrow, as the upper mid-west digs out of snow and many southern states dig out of rubble, governments are asking non-essential workers to stay home. Non-essential basically equates to anyone whose job is not directly related to taking care of a human life. Doctors, nurses, firepersons, cops, hospital staff, caretakers, etc. This allows the plows and other rescue crews to do their jobs by clearing up the roads. As difficult as it is for a type-A, competitive, egotistical person to admit, I am non-essential. However, it is really not that difficult to use that as an excuse for taking another snowday to work in my pajamas.

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