The British, it would seem, are keen on the new trend – induced by Covid-19 – of working from home. In a recent YouGov poll, only 13% of British adults felt workers able to do their job from home should return to the office; and as a Morgan Stanley survey has shown, only a third of UK office staff have returned to their usual workplace, compared to 83% in France and 76% in Italy.
But fans of home working would do well to bear in mind the case of “Bob”, says Andrew Hill. He was the US software developer for a big company who in 2013 outsourced his job to a Chinese consulting firm, giving them a slice of his salary while he traded on eBay and watched cat videos. His work didn’t suffer: on the contrary, “quarter after quarter” his bosses marked him as “the best developer in the building”. Except, of course, his work wasn’t being done in the building. And there’s the rub. For if working from home makes it easy for you to outsource your job without being detected, it also makes it easy for your boss to outsource you. If you can do your job anywhere, anyone can do your job. (Andrew Hill, Financial Times).
Comment: “ Bob” was dishonest and devious. As such he was un-Epicurean. Makes a good story, but you don’t do that to the boss; you hope he will have the integrity not to do it to you.