Working Remotely

Citrix is a company that specializes in being able to do computer work remotely. In fact, it has been a consistent strength throughout our history. So, can you imagine that the programmers would not be able to work from home until 1999?

Between 1989 and 1998, it was company policy that workers (engineers/programmers) could not work from home or other remote sites. This was not due to the technology but rather a mandate from the CEO. The quote I heard about this was “If I can’t see them working, they are not working”.

When Mark Templeton became the CEO, this policy was dropped. In 1999, I was allowed to work remotely from Australia. This was great news for me and I have been working remotely since then.

As a company, there has been slow progress to embrace having more people work remotely. I think management sees this as a risk even after all these years of proof that it can work.

In a department in Sydney it is becoming more common to allow people to work part-time from home and part-time from work. This model seems to be the best fit. You still get contact with other workers along with the quiet time of being on your own to finish a project.

I still find it odd that it took Citrix so long to embrace using its own technology to allow workers to reside far away from any office. If you think about it, you cannot expect that talent is going to be concentrated in any one place. I believe the Internet has really opened up a lot of possibilities for individuals and companies this way.

Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

Posted in Citrix History, Citrix Internal Issues
3 comments on “Working Remotely
  1. Sunny says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Citrix – The very beginning, 1989-1992 and the related articles are great!

    I totally agree with you point of views. Yes, a lot of people still believe working remotely means “not working” for not physically in the office. It is in deed a chanllenge for management to make sure remote employee is actually working.

    On the contratary, who knows whether an employee in the office is working or not? May be he is just browsing the web all day. To make it fair, some employees take major advantage of working remotely as well. i.e. remotely not working.

    The trust between management and employees as well as the employees’ sense of responsibilty are the keys to create a Win-Win situation for both parties in a company that allow remote workforce. The benefit and flexibility are trenmendous for both parties when executed properly.

    Sunny

  2. jeffreymuir says:

    I thought that this was a very well written response to the post.

    I agree that it can be just as difficult to manage people that are in the office.

    The conclusion I have come to over the years is that it should not matter where the person is working as long as the work is getting done.

    I also takes a certain kind of person to be able to work from home. If it is hard to motivate yourself, perhaps it would be better for someone to watch over you :). I remember how weird it was not to have the feeling that I was being watched over. Its a bit of a transition at the beginning.

  3. Sunny says:

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks.
    Ditto, the key is getting the work done. Moreover, one who understands prilivage (working remotely) comes with responsibility will likely benefit and create/produce the most.

    Thinking about this topic now, excluding the managements who simply do not trust work can be done without supervision and proximity. Some managements might not have a complete understanding of how much time is required for certain jobs/tasks or what is involved for certain jobs/tasks that contribute to the slow adaptation of remote workforce in some companies.

    Sunny

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