The telecommuting myth

Subject: The telecommuting myth
From: Linda Miller <linda_k_miller -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 1999 06:37:42 PDT

From all the postings on this subject, apparently telecommuting is no myth.
Although most responses were from contractors.

I'm a full-time tech writer for Allegiance, a healthcare products company
(about 36,000 employees), and I telecommute 2 days a week. I've worked here
a year and telecommuting 2 days was one of the terms of my accepting the job
(although I didn't start telecommuting until I'd been here about 2 months).
One of the writers already here told me that she telecommuted 2 days and
that the company was okay with it. However, I found that not everyone in the
company has this option. There has to be agreement among the appropriate
managers that your department and you can operate with you out of the office
x number of days a week. In addition, my manager wanted to make sure I had a
separate phone line for the RAS (remote access) connection and wanted to
know who else would be home while I was there. So I think they're still a
bit nervous about this kind of setup (maybe just because I was a new hire?).

My husband is an instructional designer for Lucent and telecommutes one day
a week. We overlap on Friday. My manager doesn't think it's a problem that
he and I are home on the same day. We have our separate PCs and very
different work habits, so in truth it's just nice to have lunch together.

At first it was a bit lonely and eerily quiet to work at home during the
day. For 18 years I worked in a cube at a large corp 5 days a week. But I
got used to it within a few weeks. In fact when my husband started his one
day at home, I was little perturbed with his invading my space, but we
worked it out. Of course now it's summer and I have to put up with the kids
being at home too, so it's definitely no longer quiet. But I've worked in
noisy places before.

I do feel a bit out of the office camaderie, but I was never a very social
person anyway. My family takes up all my free time.

All in all, I'm happy with telecommuting and I think my company's happy with
my work and with their other telecommuters.

What you contribute to the job depends on you and your initiatives, not
whether you're locked up with your co-workers or not.

Just my opinion,
Linda K. Miller

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