RE: Break into telecommuting

Subject: RE: Break into telecommuting
From: "Wally Glassett" <wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 09:43:46 -0800

In addition to Andrew's comments, I suspect many inexperienced managers are
also somewhat jealous of those who telecommute. It makes no sense for a
manager to feel more comfortable about someone who's 2 floors down working
in a cube that the manager never sees as opposed to someone 40 miles away
that they never see, either.

Beyond that, telecommuting, or working off-site, does impose special
requirements on the telecommuter. In my experience you must spend as much
time as it takes on-site getting familiar with the people, the technologies,
the organization you're working with and it's work culture/ethic before you
start telecommuting. You also have to establish yourself as someone the
organization or team can count on before you go off-site. In some cases that
can all happen in a matter of days, but in most cases (my experience as a
contractor) it takes a few weeks. Then, you need to take advantage of the
opportunity afforded you by getting your work done earlier than if you were
in 'the office.' Instead of hitting the commuter lanes at 6 am so you can
get to work by 7:30 to finish up something and hand it off by 10 you should
be working at 6 am so you can hand it off at 8, hopefully before your peers
are in the office and working, or by working later the previous
evening/night so the work will be done and sent off early the next day. You
should also take the initiative to communicate first, rather than wait for a
phone call or email. If you do things like that consistently, then you can
take two hours off over lunch for the gym, shopping or whatever - provided
you let the 'office' know you'll be out and keep your electronic tether
(cell phone, pager, etc.) with you at all times during normal office hours.
Overall these are very small things to exchange for the opportunity to
telecommute and work in your own environment with your own equipment,
setups, etc. You also have to recognize that it just isn't practical to do
some things remotely, and be prepared to adjust your schedule to accommodate
those things/events.

As far as lazy employees go, in my experience you find that out sooner when
they telecommute as opposed to them being in the office where there are
usually more ways to waste time without producing anything.

Wally Glassett
Tech Doc-It, Inc.
wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net <mailto:wallyg99 -at- home -dot- net>

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