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Telecommuting Toolkit

January 1, 2000
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Related Topics: Telecommuting, Featured Article
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You can't tell me this hasn't happened to you.

You're sitting in your office, ankle deep in a project, when a co-worker barges in unannounced interrupting your work with the "crisis of the moment" which inevitably turns out not to be a crisis at all.

Or you're in the third hour of a four-hour meeting where your presence is required strictly for "visibility" purposes, as you mentally measure the growing stacks of paper and projects arriving on your desk.

Stifling an overwhelming (and possibly felonious) urge to throttle someone or even worse, make a sudden career change, what are your options?

Telecommuting. Is it for you?

If you're a surgeon, a schoolteacher or a bus driver, most likely not. It's not for everyone and may not logically fit every situation. If you are a true "people person" who enjoys the daily interaction of co-workers or customers, telecommuting can make you feel isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.

If you have strong desires to be in on the action at all times; you may at times feel left out of the loop. If you are not strictly disciplined, it may be difficult to work in an environment where you and you alone have control of your time. If your job requires frequent face-to-face interaction with co-workers or superiors, telecommuting may not be feasible.

Before you or your company even entertain the concept of Flexible Workplace Arrangements, beware! Do your homework. There are many considerations that must be taken into account such as liability insurance, workers' compensation, the purchase/upkeep of equipment, security, confidentiality issues and a host of others that are too numerous to mention.

The key is to make sure you implement a detailed, comprehensive policy. Lobby for buy-in from middle and senior management. Identify those positions that could be eligible for flexible arrangements and make sure everyone understands the criteria. There may be considerable resistance from co-workers whose positions would not be conducive to telecommuting. Be prepared to meet this resistance and be able to explain the reasons why.

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