Why can't we just let people decide for themselves whether or not they will
It's definitely important for employees to want to telecommute, and it's a bad
idea to force people to telecommute. But wanting to do it and being suited and
capable to do it are two different things. The best approach is to identify
your minimum selection criteria and then encourage prospective telecommuters to
learn more about the pros and cons of telecommuting.
The objective should be to give them the facts they need to make an informed
decision, instead of rushing into it because they're attracted by the idea of
being able to avoid the commute, or work in casual clothes, or otherwise enjoy
some of the flexibility of telecommuting. Those are important reasons to want
to telecommute, but they shouldn't be the basis of the decision.