Fwd: RE: Tele/e-commuting

Subject: Fwd: RE: Tele/e-commuting
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 13:17:23 -0400

At 12:35 PM 10/20/2000 -0400, "Dave Dannenberg" <ddannenberg -at- tnc -dot- org>wrote:
I bet I struggle with how she perceives me more than she thinks of my productivity. Maybe
I'm an exception....

Not at all. I've been telecommuting (as a contractor, and now as a full-timer) for almost 8 years, and it's surprising how much effort "image" can be. No matter how productive you are, there are two areas where your image needs spin-doctoring:

1) Productivity with superiors, which means you have to blow your own horn a little more than you used to. Sending e-mails about each milestone ("The newest version of the release notes are now on the server...") helps, as can status reports. Be sure to send your e-mail at 11 or 12 at night, so that in case anyone notices the time stamps, you can impress them with your dedication... ;-)

2) Peer availability. People who work at home once in a blue moon don't want to be disturbed. People who telecommute all the time are *begging* to be disturbed, and don't get enough of it. Convincing co-workers to call me at home is an ongoing battle. Instant messaging is a good compromise sometimes, but often you have to call co-workers occasionally "just to touch base." Otherwise, they'll save everything up for the days you *are* on site, and you won't get anything else done.

I had some co-workers so comfortable with my telecommuting status that I had a couple of them call me from a conference room for lunch a few times. Both sides would turn on the speakerphones, and we'd eat our lunches, chat, and generally shoot the breeze from hundreds of miles apart.

That kind of ease takes persistence, however, and constant reminding that yes, you're working during the day, and yes, you can be reached for anything, anything at all, including "water-cooler chats."

Hope this helps,

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