RE: Break into telecommuting

Subject: RE: Break into telecommuting
From: "McDonald, Guy A." <Guy -dot- A -dot- McDonald -at- usa -dot- conoco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 11:48:16 -0600

>>"Kat Nagel" wrote...

>> Even in companies that officially allow telecommuting part- or full-time,
>> control-freak manager can (and will) insist on seeing you at your onsite
>> desk or in face-to-face meetings. When you are working off-site, this
>> of manager will expect you to be available for frequent 'progress check'
>> phone calls, and to respond instantly to email messages about
>> and project-related details. The reduced productivity due to this
>> time-consuming micro-management can then be used as justification for
>> pulling you on-site.

>Andrew Plato

>I think the reasoning behind such micromanagement is probably due to the
that most people do not work when off site. They sit around their house and
procrastinate all day.

What a crock of nonsense. Someone who has multiple drop-dead projects due
that are (here is the KEY) *well managed* cannot afford, or get away with,

>Andrew Plato

> I used to let writers telecommute. I stopped it when I had to rescue 2
> in a row after the telecommuting writers did not do their work. One
> tried to argue with me that going to the gym and talking on the phone with
> boyfriend for hours and hours was work-related.

You failed, not her.

>Andrew Plato

> Telecommuting should be a reward for people who have repeatedly proven
> they have the self-motivation to get a job done on-time. In my experience
> probably 1 in 20 employees falls into that category.

I agree with this statement. There may be an instance where the new hire has
a solid reputation as a high performing telecommuter. However, without that
reputation it is in the best interests of the company and employee to
transition towards a telecommuting arrangement.

>Andrew Plato

> So if you want to "break into" telecommuting - work your butt off on-site
> FIRST. Most managers will not (and should not) let you telecommute on day
> Just because you telecommuted in your last job proves nothing. You have to
> prove yourself on-site to the new manager first. Then you can get the
perks of
> telecommuting.

Oh really? I know of 3 large IT companies that allow telecommuting from day
one. I've telecommuted off and on since 1993 in 4 different industries. I
know others who currently have this arrangement as writers in the IT,
Medical, Engineering and Telecomm fields.

My major beef with the anti-telecommuting crowd is that they miss the boat -
and that vessel sails on the sea of communication. It boggles my mind to
hear of Technical Communicators, who rise through the senior ranks and now
manage people, take such an attitude. We should work to foster a dialogue
between our virtual charges. Better yet, we should place a passionate desire
to communicate on our daily agendas before discounting the notion of
telecommuting as an employment option.

Guy A. McDonald
Information Development Manager
Technical Information Architects, Inc.
7880 San Felipe Suite #200
Houston, Texas 77063
<mailto:gmcdonald -at- tiainfo -dot- com>
Direct 713.975.0081
Conoco office 281.293.6422
Fax 713.975.9812
Cell 281.935.0721

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