| An editor in the publishing company where the author was author-in-residence once said to him "I won't be in the office tomorrow - I've got some work to do." A colleague at GAMMA, when asked for his work schedule, said "I work in the morning and come to the office in the afternoon." |
The most frequent criticism of the electronic cottage concept is that it leads to social isolation. Some compromises have been suggested to counter the fact that indeed one is often isolated at home. Some people divide their work time between home and office, either on a time schedule or according to the type of work they are doing. Other people go to suburban work centres, which cuts commutting down if not out.
A second criticism is that it is often difficult to work at home. Women, especially women with small children, are constantly distracted. Some feminists argue that it is a conspiracy to force women back into the home, from which they have so recently escaped. They conjure up visions of electronic sweat-shops, in which women are exploited as they work for small wages on a piece-work basis, just as many now work in the garment business.
A third argument is that some people like to commute. The author was expounding to a friend the delights of working in his attic, where he had a six-step commute from his bed to his desk, with an eight-step detour into the kitchen if he wanted a cup of coffee and a twelve-step hike to the shower. The friend was horrified. "I love to commute. It is the only time I have to myself. My home is crowded with people. My office is crowded with people. My car, as I move from one to the other, is the only quiet place I have to be alone. I'm even thinking of moving to the country so that I can have a longer commute - more time to be alone."
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