TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )
Subject:Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do ) From:"William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Sun, 24 Feb 2013 20:06:03 -0500
I attribute that to poor management. If an on-site worker was to disappear
from their desk or workstation for hours on end, the manager would have a
talk with them. Yet, many never check on their telecommuting workers. One
place I worked used an instant messaging system that showed if you were on
active or not, as the activity of the mouse or keyboard would show you there
or away. Of course, if you were reading a printed document, the computer
would idle enough to show you away. Still, it wouldn't be likely your
computer to be idle an hour or two while reading like it would be if you
were out running to the mall shopping or having a three hour lunch with
friends or something similar. Even doing other things, most still bump the
mouse to check email.
And a simple IM to you would answer that. "Hey, how are you doing with that
But I have seen a lot of different managers in a lot of different companies
over the years, and an unfortunately large number manage by looking down an
aisle to see if you are there, and nothing more. So a lot of on-site workers
actually spend less time working on company projects than you would think.
Just go look at many of the forums on the Internet. Are all these people
working the night shift?
Still, I knew a guy who beat a system like that years ago. He taped a pager
to the mouse, then paged the pager. Every five minutes, the pager would
vibrate and activate the mouse. His computer at work showed him on all night
long one night while he was home. He did it just because there was a bet he
couldn't beat it.
I worked with one guy who worked a flex schedule of 5:30 am to 1 pm and took
an hour lunch. He did it for 3 years. You tell me who was managing him.
The reality is workers will find ways to beat the system, but it can be
reliable enough with a little common sense to make it work. I had one job
that every day at 3, I had to leave for about 45 minutes to pick up the kids
at school. Of course, my manager knew because I told her, and she saw I
worked from around 8:30 am to 6 pm every day, an occasionally longer when
having meetings with the team in India. I didn't get lunch at noon as
typically there were meetings between 11 and 2. And I only once missed a
deadline, due to the team two days before the release getting into an
argument among themselves on what the software really did, which conflicted
with what they had previously told me, so my manager decided to freeze our
release of the doc until we had correct information from the team.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2013 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: Telecommuting ( was: Do as I say, not as I do )
... The most common reason why companies that allow telecommuting stop
doing it is telecommuting workers not being where they're supposed to be
during working hours. A lot of workers don't seem to get that
telecommuting is not the same as being an independent contractor, and that
they don't get to make their own hours and are expected to be at their
work location during working hours even if that location is off-site in
EPUB Webinar: Join STC Vice President Nicky Bleiel as she discusses tips for creating EPUB, the file format used for e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and more.