Re: Telecommuting Advice?

Subject: Re: Telecommuting Advice?
From: dmbrown -at- brown-inc -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 12:13:45 -0700

Jones, Donna wrote:

Next week, I'm starting telecommuting part time

Congratulations! Good for you, good for your bank account (gasoline), and good for the environment (2-hour commute?!?)

> boredom, distractions, lack of "face time" with others?

Easing into it helps, as does starting with relationships you've built up over time, face to face. Then phone calls, e-mail, and instant messaging keep those relationships alive, supplemented by periodic visits to the office. Never letting them down, never giving them reason to wonder whether you're really working, is very important.

> How do I keep from getting so starved for adult conversation that I
> latch onto strangers at the grocery store or talk my husband's ears off?

Oh, you'll do that, especially at first. :)

> How do I keep from rearranging the furniture in the house or doing my
> spring cleaning when I'm supposed to be working?

When you think about the typical work day in an office, you realize there are hundreds of interruptions. In an office, if you need a break, you're likely to go chat with a coworker for 5 minutes--perfectly reasonable, everyone does it, but it makes you one of *their* interruptions. Likewise, they become *your* interruptions.

Working at home, you can put that 5 minutes away from your desk to more productive use by emptying the dishwasher or shifting clothes from the washer to the dryer. That in turn eliminates the stress of trying to squeeze those chores into the evening after a long day at the office and a long drive home.

Keep an eye on the time you spend at your desk and away from your desk. For a week or two, pretend you're billing by the hour and have to track your time. You should know pretty soon whether you're working too much or too little--adjust as needed. If you just *can't* adjust, at least you've learned that working from home may not be right for you.

But give it a try. The food you eat will be healthier. You won't waste time gathering with coworkers; arranging transportation; driving to and from the restaurant; and waiting for a table, a slow server, a backed up kitchen, and someone to bring you the bill. It's easier to eat at your desk when you're under deadline.

Best of all, the reduction in stress from *not* making that 2-hour commute will have a huge effect on the energy you bring to your work.

Good luck!



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Telecommuting Advice?: From: Jones, Donna

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