David Kirkpatrick

March 6, 2009

Tips for the newly telecommuting

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:15 am

Telecommuting as in laid-off from an office job for the first time in a career and suddenly either doing contract work from home, or simply working on a job search. As a freelance writer I’ve been telecommuting for years and have to admit there’s a lot to say both for, and against, the practice. All in all I like it, but telecommuting isn’t for everyone.

From the link:

With thousands of people losing their jobs each week, Nilles offers five pieces of advice for those CIO.com readers who might have little if any experience working outside an office environment and now find themselves working from their homes full-time—looking for new jobs, or working on contract assignments until they find other full-time gigs.

1. Good or Bad: You’re the Boss Now

The first thing that someone who was used to working in a big-company office environment will notice, says Nilles, is that he has lost all his means of support: Need IT’s assistance with an Internet connection issue? Gone. Or accounting’s help with a financial question? Nope. How about marketing’s insights? Ditto.

“When you’re working from home, you are the entire staff,” Nilles says. “You have to think about that, and you have to become self-sufficient. And all of the things that you used to leave for someone else to do, you may have to learn or relearn them yourself.”

Even basic scheduling or meeting personal deadlines can be difficult for people who have long relied on office norms that dictated when assignments and projects needed to get done, he says. In the office “if people were walking down the hall to a conference room, then [that told you] that there must be a meeting,” Nilles says. “Now, you need to provide your own cues as to what really needs to get done today.”

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