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>I don't see any input from employers in this discussion. It seems that
>lots of writers could work happily from home (I do), but I could also
>happily not work at all.
Competent managers estimate the size of jobs, set deadlines, and track
them. In general, people who are goofing off are easily caught by
measuring their output.
As a telecommuter, I find that schedules and deadlines are a necessity:
no deadline, no copy. In particular, I use hours-per-day quotas to
chain myself to the desk, in addition to project deadlines, since I'm
not as good at pulling all-nighters as I used to be, and goofing off
for the first 80% of the project is no longer something I can recover
Someone who wishes to telecommute should invert the question and voice
concern over adequate feedback from management: Will priorities be
communicated clearly? Will meaningful deadlines and milestones be
communicated and tracked? It's easy for people to form random opinions
of telecommuters, and someone considering telecommuting should arrange
things so that they can be judged against firm standards: output,
timeliness -- heck, maybe even quality! It's a good idea for a telecommuter
to go the extra mile and make sure that management is MORE aware of the
status of projects and the speed of progress than the average in-house
writer. This is easy to do, since many people will not give a
straight answer to managers' questions about the progress or status of
a project, even when everything's going well.
Robert Plamondon * High-Tech Technical Writing
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (503) 453-5841
"I regret that I have but one * for my country." -- Nathan Hale