Life in the Triangle

In 1999, my wife Kathy and I moved to The Triangle Area of North Carolina from California. Interesting area, the Triangle. Here are some of our experiences.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Characteristics of a Good Telecommuter

A memo came in my inbox at work recently with the subject "Characteristics of a Good Telecommuter." Basically, the memo described the company's goal to increase the awareness of telecommuting as a form of performing my duties to the corporation at great savings to the company by working from home. Presumably, if I am working from home, I am using my own electricity and other resources rather than if I were to be in my cubicle at RTP. However, with today's gas prices at staggering levels, working from home has its advantages on my pocketbook as well as that of my boss's.

The drafters of this particular memo know, though, that telecommuting is somewhat on the honor system. Face it, you're sitting in your PJs, (or less, perhaps,) claiming that you're performing duties related to your work, but in fact, the boss is not going to be coming around the corner any time soon to see check up on you. Therefore, recognizing that not every employee has got what it takes to be an effective telecommuter, and to clarify the company's stand on this strategy, they have formulated a handy description of the ideal candidate for telecommuting.

Here, in part, is what the memo had to say:

"Employees who possess the following characteristics make good telecommuters:

· High level of productivity

· Strong time-management skills

· High level of skill and knowledge of work-related responsibilities

· Self-discipline

· Organization and planning skills

· Self-motivation

· Supportive home environment

· Flexibility

If you feel you possess such characteristics and would like to participate in the Telecommuting Program, please discuss your candidacy with your manager."

I looked over the list and said, "Wow, I'm all of these. This might as well have been my most recent Performance Evaluation, because they have described me top to bottom."

Feeling like I might have somewhat of a higher opinion of myself than perhaps my manager does, I decided to take a more objective look at the memo to see if I indeed have what it takes to be a good telecommuter. I analyzed each point to determine what message they were trying to convey, specifically as it relates to telecommuting, and considered whether or not my talents fit the bill. What I learned about myself amazed me. Here, for your benefit, is my analysis.

Characteristics of a Good telecommuter

High level of productivity

Translation: can do a little bit of work and still have plenty of time to do all the household chores.

Strong time-management skills

Translation: actually spends time at the computer to do work-related items.

High level of skill and knowledge of work-related responsibilities

Translation: knows the difference between doing REAL work and watching TV.


Translation: actually DOES work-related items on occasion.

Organization and planning skills

Translation: can schedule a few moments a day to do work.


Translation: can get self off butt to do work without manager on butt.

Supportive home environment

Translation: can break away from home-related duties every once in a while to do some work.


Translation: can do eleven things at once, just like at the office.

What I found out about myself is that I rock at all of this. Nailed each and every one of them. I'm signing up for the program next week. Now that you know what the boss is looking for, see if you have the characteristics it takes to become a good telecommuter!

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At Sunday, April 08, 2007 6:08:00 PM, Anonymous Phantasmix said...

Once you start working at home, chores pile up. I don't know how full-time employees handle it!

So much to do around the house, too bad it doesn't usually pay.

It's even tougher when you don't have a formal boss. Are you disciplined enough for that?!

Thanks for posting the list, helps to see what points I have to keep refining.

At Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:30:00 PM, Anonymous meleah rebeccah said...

hhmmm... I dont know if I could handle being HUNG UP on all day. I have a thin skin!

Thanks for the POST!


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