I saw a conversation going around on Twitter this morning about working from home, and management’s reluctance to allow their IT folks. I can’t find any links for it now, but some of the ideas being tossed around were pretty interesting. Especially the idea that if your job can be done from outside the office, then it can be outsourced. In some sense that’s true. I also saw mention of the fact that being in the same place as your internal customers helps in the interaction with them. I’d agree with that too.
When I think about our little IT Department, I think there are some things that could be done mostly from home, and some folks are allowed to work from home when necessary. That sort of thing works pretty well for our web developer, or database admin, but not so much for the support folks. Aside from the obvious need for someone to actually be there to replace hardware, support positions work much better when you know, and interact with the people you’re supporting. Having your help desk staff be some random stranger on the phone is never as good. Cheaper, probably, but never as good as having someone you know and see on a regular basis on the other end of that phone.
Litigation Support, is more a mixed bag. Certainly, some of the work with data could be done from anywhere with access to the network, but being around to advise, and help the litigation process as it relates to technology isn’t really something that you can do from home. It wouldn’t be the same if you don’t have a relationship with the attorneys.