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.
First of all, an explanation. My e-mail system is severely retarded;
consequently, although I can *receive* mail from anyone, I can only *send* mail
back to perhaps 1/4 of the people who contact me. Something to do with our
firewall, I'm told. So if I can't respond to you, please forgive me.
Secondly, Kris (at AOL, which is one of the places I can't get to) sent the
> Tara--Good input on the telecommuting discussion. I have copied one paragraph
> from your post and am wondering if you have specific reasons why you prefer
> that "home days" be taken on Tuesday and Thursday. Also, why do you require
> that writers give advance notice? TIA.
A) Mondays and Fridays are meeting days around here, and it's rare for any of
us not to have a meeting to attend those days. Wednesdays are also big
meeting days, and additionally, experience has taught us that it's the day
that the engineers tend to come up for air and be most available for
discussions. These are generalizations, of course, but they work out more
often than not. Tuesday and Thursdays seem to be the days everyone has
their noses buried in their own affairs *anyway*, so they get preference for
work-at-home days. But again, I *rarely* turn down a request to work at
home on Mondays, Fridays, and Wednesday, if the above considerations don't
hold. So the reasons have more to do with the dynamics at CText, per se;
another company could do it entirely differently.
B) I want advanced notice so that 1) I know what my staff are doing; 2) if I'm
asked about someone, I won't look like a nit by not knowing; 3) I can plan
meetings and discussions to suit everybody; 4) if one of my writers has
forgotten something that they need to be in-house for, I can remind them
(this has happened more than once;) 5) the product managers can be notified.
On this last point, remember that at CText the writers are part of the product
team. We get consulted about things, we're expected to make comments and help
QC software, we're involved. For that reason, it is a courtesy to let the
managers of the various product teams know if "their" writer isn't going to be
available on a certain day. I have actually heard *whimpers* from them from
time to time when they couldn't sit down and talk to "their" writer, or get
something from them. So letting them know, even 'tho technically it isn't
their business (exactly), is a way of keeping peace in the family. And
it is appreciated by them.
I hope that sheds some light.
Since my opinions belong to me, anyone stealing them deserves what they get.