Re: Employees Who Work at Home

Subject: Re: Employees Who Work at Home
From: Jennie Achtemichuk <jennie -dot- achtemichuk -at- MCCAW -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 14:36:08 -0700

Lori Moore asked: I'm searching for info. on full-time employees who work
at HOME during all or part of the workweek. . . Can anyone provide insight on
the pro's
and con's for both the company and the individual?

My experience has shown that many employers, even (maybe, especially) those that
contract technical writers, are reluctant to agree to a long-term work-at-home
situation. I
have worked from home for a variety of companies, both as permanent employee and

Back in 1991, when I was a permanent employee, I approached my boss to do a
particular project from home. My reasoning was that my productivity would be
because I wouldn't be interrupted. This company set me up with a light version
of my
work computer (an XT, when my work PC was an AT!). I did wordprocessing at
then incorporated my writing into my page layout program at work.

I have found that employers are open to alternatives if they will get greater
value for their
buck. They aren't interested in employees working at home unless they reap many
benefits. If it's going to help you meet deadlines, for example, working at home
may look
worthwhile to the employer. They'll set you up with the tools you need to do
it, if you do
your research and present it to them right.

One current trend I've seen is women trying to work at home when they have
babies or
children. This is a situation when employers seem to be more reluctant to allow
work-at-home solutions. Understandably so. If this is your position, change it
and make
the pitch (and your attitude) focus more on work and benefits for the employer.

Finally, working at home is not for everyone. I was talking with a colleague
the other day
who worked at home for a software company. He refuses to do this any more
because he
couldn't get motivated. Some people just need to go into the office to get work

Whatever works for you (and for your employer, or client).

Jennie Achtemichuk (206) 828-0229
Kirkland, WA
Independent Consultant (tech communication, instructional design)
Employment Chair, Seattle chapter, STC
Chair, Steering Committee, Visual Communicators PIC (in formation), STC

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