Although relatively new, the infrastructure is in place to deliver your desktop anywhere in the world. I did it just this weekend. I woke up at 5 a.m. in my New Jersey home to support a user in London who wanted to enable pass-through USB on his XEN client. His aim: Tp sync files that he dictated into a recorder with the software on his work PC. I didn't need to go into work to do it.
I woke up at 4:50 and had no time to install Citrix GoToAssist on my PC, but it didn't matter. I XENed to my work PC - where it was installed - and ran it from there to the user's home PC. From there, I XENed to his PC at work. He was having problems connecting, so I proxied from my work PC to his London PC to restart the service, then went back to his London screen and connected.
I had four screens open: for New Jersey, New York, London Office and a London suburb. They all ran as if I was standing in front of them. (Well almost). And I did it from my ASUS netbook, which is good for surfing but not powerful enough to run, say, Photoshop. No matter, all the processing was done on the other end. I only needed broadband.
Telecommuting is ready, a search on Dice just produced just about 450 jobs that allowed it. If any industry were to adopt telecommuting, you'd think it would be IT, but the number speaks for itself. The question is why?
Do We Really Want to Tele-Commute?
The average American commutes 46 minutes a day. Chair to chair - that is, from your breakfast table to your cube - often takes much longer. So you'd think that commuters would jump at the chance to perform the same functions at home. There is, however, something to be said for the butt in the chair, and being in a meeting and laughing at someone's joke. By being there, you're not virtual, you're literal, if you will. Think of the main office supporting the branch office. The main office tends to forget about branch offices for upgrades, deployments, etc. The same will probably be more so for the coder who delivers product on time but isn't there to scream, "Happy Birthday," to the boss. Could it also be easier to lay off someone you never see?
-- Dino Londis