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.