AJAX Software Development is a fictional company that represents the telecommuting issues faced by one of our team members. This mid-sized company (110 employees) produces accounting software and is located in Biloxi, Mississippi. Approximately 75% of AJAX employees work in various capacities in either the Application Development or the Sales/Marketing departments. The remainder of AJAX staff works at the levels of executive, upper management, human resources, or operations. A significant number of personnel have recently purchased homes in the affordable but distant suburbs of Biloxi. Approximately 50 employees from Application Development or Sales/Marketing have a daily commute of two hours or more (round trip) between home and office. These employees as well as local worker/residents have requested that AJAX adopt a new policy that allows telecommuting. AJAX must decide whether to allow telecommuting, and if so, which employees would be eligible and what circumstances should govern the telecommuting option. AJAX management has elected to use the S.W.O.T. decision-making model as a guide towards analysis of this problem (Messina, J., Messina, C., n.d.).
Identification of Problem
AJAX management became aware of a pending telecommuting issue as an increasing number of key employees made telecommuting requests to supervisors and the Human Resources Department. Most employees had been in the employ of AJAX for a minimum of three years, being productive and valued workers. However, newer employees and workers of questionable productivity also requested the option to telecommute. Most requests came from the application development and sales/marketing departments, although some requests originated from important operations sectors, such as information system administration and technical help desk as well as administrative positions in various departments.
The challenge to AJAX management is threefold: (a) whether to accept telecommuting as a...