Perhaps the telecommuting trend will end before it truly gets established? I doubt it, but this Wall Street Journal article discusses some bellwether technology companies that are calling back a portion of their telecommuters.
A few big promoters of home-based and mobile-office work arrangements, including AT&T, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and parts of the federal government, have called some home-based workers back to the office, causing some to quit. The callbacks are small and don’t reflect a full retrenchment, but the factors at work — a push to consolidate operations, and the notion that teamwork improves when people work face-to-face — suggest other employers might follow suit as recession clouds loom.
I do not track the correlation between a recession and telecommuters, but the anecdotal evidence is still interesting. I suspect there will be some ongoing adjustments when it comes to managing a team with some in-house employees and some telecommuters (especially full-time, remote employees).
Despite these companies recalling (is that the right verb?) some home-based workers, others are expanding:
All these employers insist they still fully support telecommuting. And U.S. corporate employees working full time from home are still rising, gaining 30% since 2005 to 2.44 million in 2007, says Ray Boggs, a research vice president with IDC, a Framingham, Mass., market-research concern. Nortel, JetBlue and others employers are expanding work-at-home.