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Mr. Geoff Hart says:
"I'd also be interested in telecommuting, but to
keep this on topic for the list, let's look at it
from the following standpoints:
1. How do you write (or edit) in a telecommuting
Reply: IMHO, it's easy. Your company provides you
with a computer and software for your home.
"2. How often do you have to "drive in" to work to
touch base with colleagues?"
Reply: Going to work depends on your work and
deadlines, doesn't it? I have meetings one day a
week, but the remainder of the time, I decide when
to stay home and when to come to the office.
"3. How can you implement a telecommuting program
in a company (like mine) that doesn't have such a
Reply: IMHO, you need to get an executive
interested. For example, companies in Texas were
given a mandate in cities like Houston to reduce
the number of employee trips to cut down on air
pollution. Telecommuting was an option. We still
had to write a justification to our bosses. Some
people cannot telecommute because of the nature
of their work with customers. Writers are
probably the best candidates, because their work
involves a lot of time in front of the computer.
Suggestion: Write a proposal to do a prototype
telecommute (three months) and demonstrate the
efficiencies and productivity from the effort.
"4. What are the main "gotchas" from the
standpoint of writing and editing? (As opposed to
gotchas like no watercooler gossip, missing the
company picnic, etc.)"
Reply: IMHO, you need to keep in touch with your
internal clients and bosses. Check your voice mail
and e-mail frequently throughout the day (two or
three times). Keep your telecommuting low key,
because there may be some people who will be very
jealous of your situation. Finally, check off the
number of times you take breaks or go to the
refrigerator. You may want to go to work to avoid
the temptations. You have to be disciplined, but I
believe that's why writers are good candidates.
You are focused and can concentrate for long
periods of time on your work. There's so much to
do: drafting, proofing, rewriting, editing,
printing and repeating it over and over.