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Do anti-telecommuting claims apply to fulltimers?


youngfulltimers

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http://fusion.net/story/212971/working-from-home-telecommuting-sucks/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fivethirtyeight

 

The article above (not mine) talks about reasons why telecommuting is intended to be an exception and not a rule for everyday workers. Of course, there is no alternative for most fulltimers who are working... so I wonder if folks already working on the road feel they would be more productive if they were still in an office setting versus their current remote arrangement.

 

I admit, I sometimes take half the afternoon "off" while working at home, so I can certainly understand where the article is coming from. But when you have no other alternative—unless you work camp, I would think fulltimers rise to the occasion.

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It depends on your work ethic and your company's regard for it. There may also be an issue about domicile state/community and insurance coverage. Some taxes may be also involved for services like cell phone, wifi, 911, etc.

 

People are doing it but I don't know their particulars. I do know that I preferred it because I could stay on point a lot easier when I was not haphazardly exposed to the office environment. When I left the company, they took their terminal and connectivity and it took me awhile to figure out that my overwhelming sense of loss was coming from my sudden loss of a connection to all the people around the world that were my friends and collegues that I had never met in person. This was before video conferencing but even just via email, this was a really big emotional hit. It's like a huge part of myfamily just suddenly ceased to exist. Not fun at all.

 

I guess a lot of how doable it may be depends on the type of work, too.

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I haven't got into some of the tax/insurance nuances that may complicate any remote employment opportunity... that may be a separate thread entirely.

 

Your experience significantly differs from what the article suggests, so I'm glad to learn a contrasting point of view. What type of work were/are you in, if I may ask?

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http://fusion.net/story/212971/working-from-home-telecommuting-sucks/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fivethirtyeight

 

The article above (not mine) talks about reasons why telecommuting is intended to be an exception and not a rule for everyday workers. Of course, there is no alternative for most fulltimers who are working...

 

"Office work" may be not be typical of full-timers work. I've heard from several folks (health care, oil field, etc workers) who use their RV as a truly mobile home. That is, they actually commute to work from their RV and move to where the work is.

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My #2 son is a software developer and he works from home much of the time. Since is job is rated more by productivity than by hours, and he actually works via a laptop belonging to the employer and via internet over secure connections, the employer can easily tell the hours that he is signed in as well as actual time spent writing programs, compiling them, testing them and even just in waiting for things to happen. Most of his communication with coworkers is via phone or internet and so little changes whether he is in the office or not. His employer does require that all employees be physically in the office for a specified time period on two days per week but even those who are working physically in the office may not be keeping the same hours as others doing the same thing. The set hours are for staff meetings and things that require personal contact.

 

It may well be somewhat different inside of the data industry, since most of them are techno-geeks anyhow.

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The work world has changed so much from what many of us remember. Talked to a young man the other day that had been working for the past three days on a software project, he is a programmer. His comment when I get Hot I just keep on working until I find a solution. He maybe the exception, but I hope not. So much may depend on your relationship with the folks you work for or with.

 

 

Safe Travels!

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"It depends on your work ethic"...that says it all IMO. As long as your boss is not a micro manager, or one who manages by walking around to see who is at his/her desk, and your projects are on time and under budget, then Telecommuting is a perfect solution for some.

 

If you are not self motivated, your work is heavily dependent on real time teamwork, or you are a social butterfly, then perhaps working alone is not the best fit for the telecommuter or the company. Conversely, if you are Type A personality, must always feel you are one step ahead of your goals, must make one more phone call, or work in distant time zones, and must finish one more project before walking away from your home office (this was my problem)...then "perhaps" working from home is not ideal. I did telecommute from my RV for a few months, and found it more of a personal challenge due to the reduced floor space. VoIP made my location transparent and a high speed data line allowed for seamless communication to headquarters. I was extremely fortunate to have a boss who embraced my idea to work from my RV.

 

Working from home is a delicate balance....your family must respect your closed door or pretend you are not there if your "office" is in one corner of your RV. Personally I loved walking downstairs to my office vs driving 50 minutes (over 8 hours a week of time lost forever) to an office building, paying for parking, dropping off or picking up my dry cleaning...I just had a hard time not starting early and stopping late. Reduced vehicle associated costs, no parking fees, no more dry cleaning...it was like getting a raise, and from my perspective is was a win-win situation as the company was able to close the doors on the office, and got out of the lease.

 

A different take on the benefits of telecommuting

 

Regards

Gemstone

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I've been working from home 3-4 days per week for the past 5 years. My "work from home" arrangement started at management's request. My teammate and I were called into our manager's office when our IT organization was particularly full of contractors - who had been brought on to assist during a merger. We were told to "shrink our footprint" at the office down to a single small cubicle (we were both sole residents of large cubicles at the time) - and told to put together a schedule were one of us was working "remotely" every day. We each started with a schedule in which we worked remotely 2 days one week and 3 days the next. It wasn't long before this evolved into we each came into the office 2 days a week. Now, we're not even consistently doing that.

 

I'm a network analyst - tasked with performing deep dive circuit utilization analysis and performing packet captures to analyze application behaviors and communication issues between various components of distributed systems. I absolutely LOVE working from home. At this phase of my career - it's all about quality of life and work/life balance. I can be 100% effective in my job when working remotely. Even when I'm in the office - my client interaction is done via conference calls and WebEx sessions. When I'm working - I need to be where I can access my tools (which means multiple machines, multiple monitors). When I must be physically present in the office - it's rarely because there's something there I need to perform a task. These days my office visits are purely to show face and/or homage to the political clout of whoever has demanded that folks attend something in person.

 

The fact that as long as I have a reliable internet connection I can work from anywhere has enabled me to enjoy our new coach far more than I ever could were I to have to report to the office daily. Now, I regularly work from my coach - and have proven that I can fulfill my duties anywhere my "virtual office" happens to be parked. It has worked so well that I'm currently laying the groundwork to reduce my hours to "part time" status and to work all of my hours from my "virtual office". I'm planning to do that for 2-3 years before retiring completely. Preliminary discussions with my management suggest that I'll be approved to do exactly that once I file my formal request next September.

 

What's not to like about this!?!? My wife and I have been able to get out with the coach 4-6 days a week - week in and week out. When I'm sitting in a north woods campground - working my day gig and walking out the coach door at "quitting time" - I can't help but feel like I'm lucky as can be ... presented with a rare opportunity to have my cake and eat it too!!!

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I worked from home for 10 years as a software engineer. The last six, I reported into the office in Silicon Valley (3 time zones away). It worked out fine except every once in a while you have an 8pm meeting. When the company brought in a development team in Bejing, there were some 6 am meetings as well.

 

It works best if you have a set schedule and a place in the house where you go to work.

 

However, be aware that if your software team goes to Agile development, it is basically micro-management, and doesn't play well with remote workers. After 35 years in software development, I finally found myself unemployable. So I retired.

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However, be aware that if your software team goes to Agile development, it is basically micro-management, and doesn't play well with remote workers....

 

From what I've seen of "Agile" development - it doesn't seem to play well with lots of things. Organizations who's infrastructure teams are moving towards a "infrastructure as a service" model are one of 'em. In the organizations I've seen it - seems like half the organization is busy establishing standards and processes - while the other half out there trying circumvent standards and processes. When I must deal with 'em - it's "let me grab a good seat and pass the popcorn" time! It's usually fun to watch in that "demolition derby" sort of sense.

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I think it really depends on the type of work you do and who you do it for. I worked from home as an independent consultant doing instructional design work for several years in the early 2000s. I have also taught online college classes for the past 13 years part-time, some of those years were concurrent with my regular job that I did at home, before I was full-timing.

 

My work always has been very independent, not as part of a team where I relied on heavily on others, so working at home was easy. It also enabled me to work a schedule that fit my night-owl habits--from about 10 a.m. to as late as 2:00 a.m., depending on deadlines and schedule. I liked the freedom of being able to sleep in, do my grocery and other shopping when stores were not busy, and not spend time driving to an office on busy highways. This does not mean I did not go to client sites, just that most of the work was done on my own schedule.

 

And right now, I can use my days for driving or sightseeing and my evenings for work. My non-traditional students tend to do their classwork and contact me in the evenings anyway. Works out fine.

 

I do think it is important when working online and full-timing NOT to remind coworkers or customers that you are sitting on the ocean or overlooking mountains at some national park!

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A definition of "Agile development": You guys start writing code, someone go find out what the users want. :)

 

My current position is a "work from anywhere" job. My employer's clients are located all over the United States. Many jobs are better suited for "telecommuting" than companies understand. Today it is also easier for many to operate a small business out of a home.

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I think it really depends on the type of work you do and who you do it for. I worked from home as an independent consultant doing instructional design work for several years in the early 2000s. I have also taught online college classes for the past 13 years part-time, some of those years were concurrent with my regular job that I did at home, before I was full-timing.

 

My work always has been very independent, not as part of a team where I relied on heavily on others, so working at home was easy. It also enabled me to work a schedule that fit my night-owl habits--from about 10 a.m. to as late as 2:00 a.m., depending on deadlines and schedule. I liked the freedom of being able to sleep in, do my grocery and other shopping when stores were not busy, and not spend time driving to an office on busy highways. This does not mean I did not go to client sites, just that most of the work was done on my own schedule.

 

And right now, I can use my days for driving or sightseeing and my evenings for work. My non-traditional students tend to do their classwork and contact me in the evenings anyway. Works out fine.

 

I do think it is important when working online and full-timing NOT to remind coworkers or customers that you are sitting on the ocean or overlooking mountains at some national park!

 

I am extremely curious about how to become an online instructor. I obtained my master's degree with that very goal in mind (well, not necessarily online). My fiancé even brought it up today as a means of income... I'm a writer by trade and will continue to do so, but it'd be nice to begin building up my teaching resume.

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My youngest sister converted her job of logistical support from an office job to a work from home position several years ago so she could help care for my father during his final illness

 

All she needed was a phone to serve as her office "extension" to let her talk to the field teams and Internet access so she could VPN into the company's network.

 

She simply commuted into the office once or twice a month to catch up with things she couldn't do from home.

 

Later her daughter moved to Palm Springs and then got divorced. A joint custody arrangement meant she had to stay there, so my sister moved there to be near them, still telecommuting from her home office. Now she just hops a flight to Oakland once a month instead of driving to the office.

 

This arrangement would lend itself very well to fulltiming, and she's considering hitting the road in a couple of years after the grandchildren get a little older.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a software engineer and I've found that few companies will consider 100% telecommute. I once worked as a consultant for Aetna for 18 months and worked from home 4 days a week but was still required to be in the office that one day a week. I'm hoping to negotiate 100% telecommute with my current employer - there is already a precedent for it since we have one team member who works from his home in Dallas and another who works remotely from his college dorm. If not then I will probably go back to consulting.

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I am extremely curious about how to become an online instructor.

I'll have to ask my son who the school was that he got certified to write software as he did so via a "virtual classroom" where there were 15 students and an instructor in 9 different states. I watched the start of his "school" day one morning and it was remarkable. It was done by using a video conference system with all joining the class just as though they were in a single classroom and able to see each other and to even have live class discussions. It must have been a good school since he has been employed in the industry ever since and has reached new heights in salary very quickly.

 

I have no idea just how the instructors got into their positions, but I do know that there are other organizations who have virtual classrooms. If you do a Google search for virtual classrooms you can find an amazing array of links.

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I'll have to ask my son who the school was that he got certified to write software as he did so via a "virtual classroom" where there were 15 students and an instructor in 9 different states. I watched the start of his "school" day one morning and it was remarkable. It was done by using a video conference system with all joining the class just as though they were in a single classroom and able to see each other and to even have live class discussions. It must have been a good school since he has been employed in the industry ever since and has reached new heights in salary very quickly.

 

I have no idea just how the instructors got into their positions, but I do know that there are other organizations who have virtual classrooms. If you do a Google search for virtual classrooms you can find an amazing array of links.

Helpful as always, Kirk. Thank you very much. Glad to hear your son has found success in this arena... some users have also personally sent me some advice on this. I may have a little more experience I need to gain but do still look at this as a long-term option. In the meantime, I hope to freelance for both traditional and digital media properties. ... maybe try to eventually monetize the blog?

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