Telecommuting - A Summary of Responses

Subject: Telecommuting - A Summary of Responses
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 19:29:08 -0700

My thanks again to everyone who gave me advice about
telecommuting long distance, especially those who said I could
contact them for more advice if I needed it.

I lost count at 39 e-mails, but I received lots of concrete
advice that I intend to listen to. Here's a summary (in no
particular order) of the responses. Sorry I didn't post sooner,
but sorting through the information took a while:


1. Most telecommuters are satisfied with their arrangements. A
few expressed boredom with travelling and hotel rooms, but even
most of the people who mentioned the downsides thought that they
were a small price to pay for the freedom.

2. Get a fast modem connection. This advice was nearly unanimous.

3. Expect no special stress on a marriage or family. Modern
families are used to juggling schedules. If you have a family, it
adds stress, but also gives unexpected free time for family
events. A supportive and understanding spouse helps, however.

4. Set up interviews and meetings before your visit to the
office.

5. Leave some open time for unexpected meetings and problems
during your visits.

6. Expect delays due to weather and air travel rescheduling.

7. Keep a steady e-mail conversation going with your subject
matter experts. That way, you'll have early notice of changes and
delays.

8. Take early morning or over night flights so you can spend a
full working day at the office.

9. Expect to spend your office time making personal connections
and renewing ties.

10. Expect to do your serious writing at home.

11. Some job issues that are simple when you're on-site can
become hassles when you're not.

12. At least some of your ability to telecommute depends on the
ability of the people you're working with to communicate.

13. Do some client work while traveling, so you can bill for the
travel time.

14. Telecommuting works best if you've already put time in at the
office so that people know who you are.

15. If you're working at home with young children, make sure that
you have an office or have time to work uninterrupted.

16. Plan for the worst case scenario: imagine that you'll have to
travel twice as much as you expect, and be at the office twice as
long on each visit than you expect.

17. Consider the experience an adventure.

A couple of side comments:

One reply said, "You know you live a sad existence when the
flight crew knows your first name."

Another reply talked about several telecommuters, including one
geek who had programmed his mobile form to phone his wife every
day at a specified time and leave a recorded message saying that
he loves her. He was shocked to consider that she didn't consider
this a personal call and that she wasn't impressed by how clever
he was to do that.

My thanks to everyone who replied, especially: Elena Tymes, Eric
Ray, Linda Nunes, Huntley Eshenroder, Suzanne Townsend, Rebecca
Rachmany, Lenx Humbird, Bob Perrey, Horace Smith, and Guru
Kamath, all of who wrote especially useful device, and most of
whom replied at length.

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"My enemies were certain I was starving,
It must have given them a fearful shock,
Through the binoculars to see me carving,
A joint of beef upon the barren rock."
-Roy Daniells, "Psalm 23"




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