Re: Telecommuting Advice?

Subject: Re: Telecommuting Advice?
From: Michele <michele -at- krautgrrl -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 14:59:17 -0500

Hello all,

I've been telecommuting for almost 10 years. I have my own office and my husband has his own office, both on the main floor of the house. I finally relented this year and hired a cleaning lady so I could stop worrying about taking care of a four bedroom home with two main floor offices and a basement family room. I work during all different hours and have become very accustomed to tuning out my children. They have their own phone line, I have one for work, and a home line. I'm not quite so rigid as to take designated breaks because each project I do is different and I am hardly micro-managed by any of my clients. Although I have to admit I have some clients who don't have boundaries and email with issues on the week-ends, which I try to keep work-free for the most part, but maintaining those clients is a priority so I happily oblige them when they email on week-ends.

Now, on to Posada's comment about friend/family boundaries. This has been a very tough pill for me to swallow for 10 years. Because I work at home various and sundry (my dad is especially guilty of this) will call on my home line when I'm working. Usually I don't even hear that line because my music is loud and I can't hear it ring. People from my children's school (the one that goes to a public school mostly) think that they can interrupt me whenever, because, well, I work at home, so I must not "really" be working. My dad does this as well. And as he is long distance, it's a bummer, and he doesn't get the boundary thing so I rarely speak with him, I mostly email. Friends used to be notoriously guilty of this but most of my current friends are so swamped at their day jobs that they leave me alone and use email. The friends who have crises will call on my business line and if I have time I will gladly give it to them, otherwise I tell them I'm on deadline and schedule a time to talk.

Boundary issues are tough, a lot of people may end up being miffed that you are drawing a boundary. Heck, I know people in my personal life who I've given the flush to because they despise it when I establish a boundary---god forbid I take care of myself!

I suggest you learn to tune things out, not just noise, but desires to re-arrange the furniture, which is really about procrastination and working in a home office takes a person that can multi-task well and not procrastinate. If you're clocked in with Client A and Client B calls, I clock out of Client A and clock in with Client B. Once off the phone, I clock out with Client B and clock back in to Client A. But I'm an anal, list making, everything in it's place kind of gal, who takes pleasing clients so seriously that the cleaning lady had to be hired as the house suffered and I felt overwhelmed with having to cook dinner, wash, fold and iron laundry, monitor homework and the like during my off time that cleaning the house took a backseat.

That's my own experience and advice, do with it as you will.


Michele E. Davis, Writer
Kraut Companies
612-309-6903 (cell)
and the uber geek empyre

John Posada wrote:

...How do I keep from rearranging the
furniture in the house or doing my spring cleaning when I'm
supposed to be working? I'd like to know what's worked for other

You'll find that friends and family have a problems with the concept
of being home, yet being at work. They'll figure that if you are
home, you're home. You'll be asked by kids and friends to do things
during the day that they wouldn't normally ask because you'd be at
the office. My problem was a friend that would constantly call and
ask if I wanted to play golf...he worked nights. You need to be able
to say no.


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Re: Telecommuting Advice?: From: John Posada

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