FW: Telecommuting Advice?

Subject: FW: Telecommuting Advice?
From: hls_ut -at- comcast -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 21:56:44 +0000

I thought about this some more, and have some concrete suggestions.

(Some background, since my previous message might give the impression that I tried to avoid working. I started telecommuting when my husband and I moved cross country. I didn't know anyone. At all. And no kids. If I didn't MAKE a reason to get out of the house every day, I could stay cooped up for days. The first year, I spent all my free time looking to buy a house, which satisfied my need for adult contact. After that I REALLY needed fun, so I concentrated on making new local friends and getting some much needed exercise... which really does help me focus on work.)

Communication is key. Especially when you're offsite, do everything you can not to become invisible. I second the suggestions for tracking time and doing status reports. People seemed to be really satisfied when there were up-front, specific goals, and then weekly time tracking and status reporting identified exactly how each goal was being met.

Planning my days helped me stay focused. Whatever method you use, make sure you keep it up, and keep your daily/weekly goals in mind. Adhere to a specific schedule, and take breaks. You need to move and stretch.

Set up a regular routine for communication and DO use the phone. And DO use the mute button. (At one time, about half the people on my world-wide project were working at home, either regularly or occassionally. It was really irritating to hear the pets, kids, TV, etc.) I didn't have a seperate line for work, but I should have. I didn't get a lot of calls, but I always tried to answer before the second ring. That reinforces the impression that you're at work.

If it's appropriate, volunteer for stuff that's on the periphery of your responsibilities. Proofread someone's document, scribe for a weekly meeting, maintain the style guide, whatever keeps you visible and reminds people that you're accessible.

And lastly, as I said before, have a seperate room that looks and feels like an office, with a door.

------------------hls_ut -at- comcast -dot- net


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