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Comment Well, that would depend on a number of factors (Score 1) 615

Will I take a pay cut to telecommute full time? Well, that would depend on a lot of factors, really.

I have been working from home the past almost three years for a wonderful start-up. Before I joined them, I was working at a company I used to drive a long way to every morning in rush hour traffic, only to find crappy places to park cars where I'd risk getting my car bumped or scratched on any given day (lest I paid an unbelievable amount to park my car at some dedicated parking of a hotel nearby, as the company didn't provide parking). By the time I reached the office, I felt completely exhausted and tired. On the way back home, I struggled with the rush hour traffic again, taking anywhere from one to two or more hours to get home completely dead. It was peaceful inside the office, though, with air-cos on 24/7. I didn't have to worry about the sky-rocketing power bills or the ever increasing power cuts (I live in a country that is plagued with problems that make it impossible to get even basic necessites properly at times). However, I completely hated the workstations they had provided. CRT monitors! My eyes would bleed (and as I never miss the chance to bitch about it, they refused my requests to provide me with an LCD, asking me to get a doctor's recommendation letter that said that CRT cause strain on my eyes first). And of course, not to mention the fact that things in the city would turn sour every now and then, creating more problems during commuting safely back and forth.

In contrast to that, working from home has been a bliss. I have a nice set up at home in terms of my work environment. I had to however invest in a power backup generator for the times the power isn't available (which is a couple of hours every day if life is good for us). Because of the hot weather mostly here, I have to keep the air-co running on most times when I am working (because that is possibly the only way to stay sane while working, otherwise the heat gets to you badly). This eventually causes the power bill to go significantly up. The company does contribute, but I'd like them to do so more gratuitously. Of course, I also have to get a good Internet connection for work (Internet is still somewhat expensive over here). So, while the work is enjoyable, and I love working from home, these concerns do bother me all the time. I know that these won't really apply to everywhere or everyone, but for me, these are some of the factors that I weigh in when deciding whether it is better to telecommute. I have not had any issue with communications. We are mostly always on Skype and IM and IRC and of course over email. I think that if I didn't have to worry about the power-cuts, and could run the air-co all the time while working without feeling a little guilty or worried about the power bill, I would be much happier than I am right now.


Submission + - Do CRT monitors cause headaches?

ihazissueswithCRT writes: I have myopia (medium to high myopia). I wear corrective lenses (in the form of glasses) with negative six optical power, both eyes. The optical power had gradually been decreasing, but since over two years now, it has stabilised at negative six. I use computers a lot on a daily basis. For the past three years, I have been working entirely with laptops and LCDs. I still do, at home, where I have a wide-screen laptop I use. However, almost eight months back, I joined a software house in the capacity of a software engineer. Unfortunately, they only have CRT monitors (13-inch or less) there. I am not used to working with CRT monitors. And in fact, I cannot work with them without having a cracking headache, eye-ache, and without shedding tears. This is the major reason why I flushed out all monitors at home three years ago.

In the last few months working with CRTs at this organisation, I have been feeling the brunt of it extensively. I have headache (at times severe) and eye-ache almost every day I am at work. If I stay back at home, and use my laptop all day long, for hours at ends, I feel nothing. However, as soon as I have spent a good half an hour or even less in front of a CRT at work, the problems start to appear. I have been trying to narrow down to those factors that may actually contribute to the headaches and eye-aches. Traveling to and fro work (I drive to work in my car) might be one factor, as I have to fight my way through rough traffic every day. But, besides that, I could pin down no other factor. The office environment is a long shot from being a haven, but it is not by any stretch of imagination what I would call uncomfortable. I discussed my concerns with friends and other people, and while none of them have medium to high level myopia like myself, they do agree that using CRTs does cause headaches. I raised the issue finally with my manager. He forwarded it to the HR head who called me for a chat. Surprisingly, to him, my not being able to work with CRTs is something he had not heard of ever before. He asked me to get an eye test with my ophthalmologist, and get a letter written from him that suggests I cannot work with CRT monitors. I thought that that was the height of stupidity. But since I already have a much better job offer waiting for me, I did not think it worth protesting. (However, I do wish that they may solve the problems I am having, as I would prefer to stay back with this organisation.)

Yesterday, however, I did visit the ophthalmologist for a routine check-up. The diopters of my corrective lenses remain the same, negative six that is. I do have allergy in my eyes, which I have had for a while, and for which I have been taking treatment on and off. The ophthalmologist did agree with my reservations with working with CRT, but he politely refused to write such a letter, stating that he cannot do so. He asked me instead to fight the battle with the administration of where I work, stating that I do not need to show them any certificates or letters for something I am not comfortable with at work. I will confront the administration, nonetheless, later today. But I wanted to know what you guys think about it. Have you ever had problems with working with CRTs? Especially those of you who may have myopia to any degree and have to work with computers for long hours daily?

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