Author Archives: Kathy

Face Time

images5You manage by objectives and your manager does too, right? Of course you do. Nobody manages knowledge workers by face-time any more, watching when employees show up at the office and noting the minute that they leave in the evening. But if one did manage employees by face-time and felt the need to know that they were at their desks all day, could one do it with telecommuters?

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Telecommute Resumes

images4Until today I had never heard of a “telecommute resume,” but Employment Digest has some tips for building one. While their advice is worth a look, I think they’re addressing how to build a resume to win any great job in a competitive global market. They’ve left out the one thing that might add value to resume aimed specifically at a telecommuting position.

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A Bit of Good News

images3This article from Management Issues, a great blog focused on the British workplace, predicts what the working world will look like in 2018. Not only do they predict working from anywhere, but they also expect more collaboration particularly using social media, remote conferencing, email, and texting.  Need a sunshine break from the 2009 gloom? Take a look.

A Tax Break?

images2 A New York Times article on mass transit prompted this interesting letter (link requires a New York Times account.) The writer, Nicole Belson Goluboff,  proposes that “The most efficient and most advanced ways for Americans to travel include telecommuting, as well as mass transit, and President-elect Barack Obama should make this alternative a priority, too. Tax credits should be available both to employers and to workers who embrace this option, and to companies that offer broadband access where it has been absent or inadequate.”

What a great way to reduce pollution and fossil fuel consumption as well as to encourage employers to reduce costly office space and fuel costs for their employees!  I don’t suppose it’s time to hold my breath yet, but wouldn’t that be a good fit in an energy program?

Hybrid Meetings

images1What is a hybrid meeting? It’s a term coined by Commute Zero author Carol to refer to a meeting in which some attendees are face to face in a conference room and others attend remotely, either from home or from an office or from another conference room. Hybrid meetings present some special challenges, not just technical problems (flat-sounding speaker phones) but also cultural issues .

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Beating Loneliness

Workforce Management today shares a couple of interesting ways for teleworkers to beat cabin fever. After all, spending every day working from home leaves many people feeling as though they’re gathering dust.

Jellies are small groups of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and telecommuters who get together with their laptops in groups of 15 or 20 to brainstorm with others in similar or even different fields. (Why “jelly?” For jelly bean, says the founder of the original one, Amit Gupta.) It’s a chance to get a fresh viewpoint and a fresh view.  An employer of a telecommuter who participates in a jelly may find it advantageous or disadvantageous. The telecommuter should be warned about keeping company confidential information to himself rather than unwittingly sharing it in a brainstorming session with a competitor. A telecommuter could be lured away by a job offered through his jelly, but there’s an up side to that problem: he might also recruit good people for his employer.

A more traditional cure for cabin fever is “co-working” in a neighborhood office space set up for remote workers and entrepreneurs. Check out Workforce’s story on how a video game developer kept a senior programmer happy and productive in a remote office after he moved away for the sake of his wife’s job. For a small space rental, his company was able to provide an office environment that energized a productive worker who found that working from home drove him “stir crazy.”

Oh Baby

Ask a Manager – one of my favorite blogs – has a pointer to this New York Times blog article about bringing babies to work. Not for a quick trip through the office to let everyone see the new addition to the family, but for an all-day camp out at the desk while a parent works. It’s an interesting twist on work-life arrangements to allow a new mom to juggle work and a babe successfully, but really, wouldn’t telecommuting from home be more effective for the parent, for the baby, and for coworkers?