Friday, May 27, 2005

Telecommuters Unite!

There is a quiet revolution going on in America and across the world. Our culture is shifting through gains in technology to a place where we can work anywhere. The concept of the office is changing - it is becoming a meeting place for collaboration. Then workers go off to their own spaces - in some places, their home and get their tasks done.

I work full time and work from home on Fridays. This allows me to keep my daughter home 3 days a week and in daycare 4 days a week, which is a much better balance. It is a challenge, but I have a laptop, cable modem, email access, MSN instant messenger and a phone/fax machine. With this, I am armed with the tech tools that I need to succeed. Being a marketer, a lot of the job is communicating between vendors, customers, editors, the sales team and IT. Balancing projects and making sure they move along is the game.

I believe there will come a day when a job will be open in California, and I will be able to apply and work from home in Georgia. When employers find good people, location shouldn't be a problem.

As far as working from home full time, that is another situation unknown to me. You have to have incredible discipline, a solid agreement with your management on measuring performance (both ways), and you have got to make contact with fellow employees face to face once in awhile. There is nothing like being around other employees to be in touch with what is going on behind the scenes when you are face to face. You pick up on more details when you are in meetings with people rather than on the phone. You see expressions, hand movements, eye rolling and the rest.

But for me, my Fridays are special. I get my work done and spend glorious time with my daughter. It can't get better than that.

Don't think you can telecommute or that management won't allow it? Make a case. Pitch the idea. Go through a 3 month test. It's worth asking, isn't it?

Telecommuting Resources

Interagency Telework

International Telework Association

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