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Not Just At Home Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 1:00 PM
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My last job was 95% telecommuting. For me, that was actually a little too much. I found that I missed the interaction with the other team members. (Of course, that could be solved with proper setup of online sessions.)

Now I'm working as a consultant and have a varying mix of in-office and telecommute work time. As long as I get the job done, nobody really cares where I am. In fact, my next assignment may very well be part telecommuting, part commuting to the opposite coast. Now how's that for extremes?

The key is knowing your strengths and weaknesses (as in everything else) and finding the right balance for you and your work.
Post #409211
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 4:48 AM
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I am a consultant so of course I don't run into the resistance to remote work the way employees do. I recently moved my business to North Carolina and work out of my Home Office almost exclusively although I occasionally travel to client sites. Under normal circumstances I use remote desktop to remote in to all my clients.

I use TrueCrypt to set up mountable encrypted drives on my laptop, and I use it to store all sensitive data that I need to carry. I use VPN where provided by the client. Some small shops do not have the experience to get VPN set up so I use Hamachi (the free version) to set up a tunnel between my laptop and the system I remote desktop into on those clients who do not have VPN set up for me. I then use Comodo personal firewall to protect my laptop, in fact I run it on all of my systems even at the office when I am behind the hardware firewall.

TrueCrypt, Hamachi and Comodo are all dead easy to set up and use. I set up a system at my home office with Hamachi and use a Hamachi VPN tunnel to get there when I am on the road. I can use Remote Desktop on my systems at home to do secure browsing (over a Hamachi VPN Tunnel) while on the road or in public.

And yes, I get so much more done working at a home office. Having no commute saves an immense amount of time and gasoline. While I don't always work more hours in a day, they are more effective hours. I am also able to wedge in time with my son and daughter, even 10 or 15 minutes here and there during "the work day" so that it just feels like I am home more. I can attend school meetings and do many of the other things that are almost impossible if you have to "go to work" at an office somewhere.
Post #409439
Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:14 AM


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John,

We use Hamachi at End to End training to connect remotely. I admit that I was a little worried about security with that project, but it's worked well and no issues so far. My partner loves it!

A few links:
Hamichi Wikipedia

Steve Gibson's Review (#18)







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Post #409461
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 3:40 PM


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About six months ago work from home was taken away from me and my staff. So, as the editorial said, I don't check my email or monitor the network's health outside of working hours any more. (After all, if I can't work from home when it's convenient for me, then I won't just because it's convenient for my employer.) And the productivity of my staff has declined quite a lot. Imagine that!

I'm looking for a telecommuting-friendly job now.


So long, and thanks for all the fish,

Russell Shilling, MCDBA, MCSA 2K3, MCSE 2K3

Post #410209
Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:52 AM
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I don't blame you for looking for other work. The telecommuting option seems to be a plus for everyone effected(reduction of dependency on foreign oil, the need for less building space to house employees and other overhead associated with having a building, etc. etc). Like I said in my original reply, if tax credits and grants were given to
businesses based off a certain percentage of the work force telecommuting, companies and state governments
would do this in a "heartbeat". That's why I don't think any of our politicans are really interested in the reduction
of our dependency on foreign oil. Samething goes for the evironmentalists, they don't pitch this telecommuting
thing either! One things for sure you can't trust politicans(democrat or republican).

Good luck finding a telecommuting job.
Post #410298
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 10:49 AM


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Eric,

Good points and that's interesting. Why isn't it pushed more in terms of tax credits. There are certainly a lot of jobs that could be done remotely.







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Post #410929
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 11:20 AM
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Want a telecommuting job? There is at least one that is perfect if you want to telecommute.


Telemarketing.


Must be available to work during everybodys dinner time.
Post #410942
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 11:42 AM
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Bob, I hope you were just being funny, and not totally unsympathetic to the plight of people who would really like to telecommute for some portion of their work-week.

What I would LIKE to see in this forum are some people who have success stories about what they did to convince thier employers that tele-commuting makes sense. (Consultants don't count - there are plenty of examples there.)

As far as tax-incentives go, it's great that some cities in the country have started doing this. But the company still has to want to do it. I am concerned that a lot of companies would still see it as a lot of trouble to make a handful of employees happy. (Even though it seems it would be easy enough to implement without incentives!!)

As a side note, our department recently interviewed someone for a developer position, and that person was clearly disappointed to hear that we didn't offer the ability to tele-commute. When it comes to filling this position with the best person, we could lose out.
Post #410950
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 2:07 PM


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The process can work without tax credits. In just about any city where space is at a premium, a company not having to provide/plan for space for 100% of their workforce (since a good portion would be working from home at any given time) alone could provide the financial incentives to do that.

One of the last companies I worked with as a consultant had a system like that. A fairly big portion of the office either worked 4 days a week (4x10), and/or worked one day a week from home. Most of those in that pool would "share desks", and would have something like a "corporate locker" for their stuff/files. You'd then "sign up" for a local desk that day, which of course were all configured the same, with roaming profiles, etc... carrying your config with you. You'd sign in to your phone number which would then forward calls to whatever you designated, etc..

It becomes rather easy to justify it that way: rent + utilities + insurance on 80% of the space you initially needed AND everyone's happier. You could do this much simpler by making 2 people "share" office space - doesn't need to be that extreme.


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Post #411015
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 3:09 PM
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To Matt's point, a previous employer of mine justified telecommuting based on building rent. They reduced their square footage by 33% and had the displaced workers telecomute. In this case it was justified as a cost savings needed because of poor business prospects, but still there were cost savings even without any tax incentives.

I will add that this solution is much easier to justify in the USA do to the fact that many US homes already have affordable high speed connections in place and the company did not reimburse for this. High speed connections were not as readily available (mainly due to high cost) for some of my European collegues. Affordable high speed may have come to Europe in the last year, but I'll let those currently outside the US comment on this.
Post #411031
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