101 Tips for Telecommuters

Successfully Manage Your Work, Team, Technology and Family

Debra Dinnocenzo (Author) | Ronald Fetzer (Foreword by)

Publication date: 09/01/1999

101 Tips for Telecommuters
Telecommuting-an increasingly common practice of working from home or away from a central office, while staying linked by phone and/or computer-has become a way of life for more than eleven million people in the United States, and the number constantly rises. But most books on the subject focus on its technological or administrative aspects rather than its human ones. What are the pros and cons of telecommuting for the legions of men and women that actually do it on a daily basis? And how can current or would-be telecommuters maximize their performance while minimizing their headaches?
In 101 Tips for Telecommuters, seasoned telecommuter Debra Dinnocenzo shares her practical, easy-to-implement "action tips" for making telecommuting as efficient and productive as possible. Written for full-time, occasional, and aspiring telecommuters, this helpful book covers everything from managing one's own time, balancing telecommuting with family demands, and working effectively with others from afar to networking the "virtual" way, getting a grip on technological overkill and even resisting the ever-beckoning refrigerator when working at home!
Dinnocenzo offers useful advice on special self-management factors to consider when telecommuting; how to keep in touch with all the people-coworkers, managers, support personnel, customers, and others-who make up your telecommuting world; and even how to nurture crucial ties with suppliers, vendors, and service providers.
In the new age of professional mobility, 101 Tips for Telecommuters is the perfect guide for the millions of Americans who want to succeed in this exciting and challenging new way of work.
  • A concise, user-friendly guide for telecommuters, written by a veteran telecommuting executive with more than a decade of first-hand experience as both a telecommuter and telemanager

  • Focuses on the myriad tasks and roles telecommuters must handle on a daily basis

  • Includes a Telecommuter Self-Assessment Checklist so readers can determine if telecommuting is right for them, a Telecommuter Start-Up Guide, and a Telecommuter Resource Guide to refer to whenever telecommuting gets tough

Read more and meet author below



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Overview

Telecommuting-an increasingly common practice of working from home or away from a central office, while staying linked by phone and/or computer-has become a way of life for more than eleven million people in the United States, and the number constantly rises. But most books on the subject focus on its technological or administrative aspects rather than its human ones. What are the pros and cons of telecommuting for the legions of men and women that actually do it on a daily basis? And how can current or would-be telecommuters maximize their performance while minimizing their headaches?
In 101 Tips for Telecommuters, seasoned telecommuter Debra Dinnocenzo shares her practical, easy-to-implement "action tips" for making telecommuting as efficient and productive as possible. Written for full-time, occasional, and aspiring telecommuters, this helpful book covers everything from managing one's own time, balancing telecommuting with family demands, and working effectively with others from afar to networking the "virtual" way, getting a grip on technological overkill and even resisting the ever-beckoning refrigerator when working at home!
Dinnocenzo offers useful advice on special self-management factors to consider when telecommuting; how to keep in touch with all the people-coworkers, managers, support personnel, customers, and others-who make up your telecommuting world; and even how to nurture crucial ties with suppliers, vendors, and service providers.
In the new age of professional mobility, 101 Tips for Telecommuters is the perfect guide for the millions of Americans who want to succeed in this exciting and challenging new way of work.

  • A concise, user-friendly guide for telecommuters, written by a veteran telecommuting executive with more than a decade of first-hand experience as both a telecommuter and telemanager

  • Focuses on the myriad tasks and roles telecommuters must handle on a daily basis

  • Includes a Telecommuter Self-Assessment Checklist so readers can determine if telecommuting is right for them, a Telecommuter Start-Up Guide, and a Telecommuter Resource Guide to refer to whenever telecommuting gets tough

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Meet the Author & Other Product Contributors


Visit Author Page - Debra Dinnocenzo

Debra A. Dinnocenzo is president of VirtualWorks!, a learning and development firm specializing in tools and resources for leaders and teams working together from a distance.   She is a consultant and speaker, with expertise in virtual workplace issues including virtual leadership, virtual teams, telework, and work-life balance.  She serves on numerous boards of directors and holds an adjunct faculty position with Duquesne University where she teaches the online graduate course, ""Leadership in the Virtual Workplace.""

Debra A. Dinnocenzo is a veteran executive telecommuter and president of ALLearnatives, a training and consulting firm which offers products and services to telecommuters and organizations involved in telecommuting. In 1997 she was awarded runner-up honors in the Home Sweet Home-Office Contest sponsored by Sales & Marketing Management magazine. She was senior vice president of marketing for Learning International, a worldwide sales performance and training company and a division of Times Mirror. She is the author of 101 Tips for Telecommuters.

For more information, visit Debra's website at www.TipsForTelecommuters.com.-->



Foreword by Ronald Fetzer

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Special Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
How to Use This Book
Where to Begin

1. Assess Yourself for Telecommuting Success
Telecommuter Self-Assessment Checklist
Working Well in Your Home Office
2. Focus Your Life
3. Focus Your Work
4. Focus Your Day
5. Avoid Time Wasters
6. Maintain a Healthy Balance (Manage the Workaholic Within)
7. Stay Motivated (Manage the Slouch Within)
8. Get and Keep Your Office Organized
9. Get and Keep Your Day Organized
10. Keep the “Administrivia” Under Control
11. Manage the Maddening Mounds of Mail
12. Determine the Best Location for Your Home Office
13. Draw a Clear Line Between Your Work and Living Space
14. Determine the Best Address for Your Home Office
15. Design Your Office for Efficiency
16. Design Your Office for Good Health
17. Be Your Own OSHA Inspector
18. Dress for Success (According to the New Rules)
19. Make a Habit of Avoiding Bad Habits
20. Reject the Refrigerator that Beckons You
21. Work During Your Peak Energy Times
22. Making “The Rounds” for Efficient “Erranding”
23. Stay Fit and Healthy
24. Take Breaks to Relax, Re-energize, or Recover
25. Multi-Task to Maximize Your Productivity
26. Avoid the (Real or Perceived) Isolation Trap
27. Track Expenses and Expenditures
28. Simplify and Improve Continuously
29. Reward Yourself and Celebrate Successes
30. Take Responsibility for Developing New Skills and Managing Your Career

Working Well with Your Family
31. Negotiate Expectations and Agreements
32. Get Your Family on Your Team
33. Manage and Minimize Distractions
34. Establish Clear Interruption Rules
35. Take Care of Childcare
36. If You Mix Childcare and Work (God Help You!)
37. “Take Your Children to Work” Guidelines
38. The Shift to Home-Based Work with Older Children
39. Meeting the Challenge of Eldercare or Family Care
40. Minimize Household and Family Stress
41. Working With and Around Your “4-Legged Children”
42. Resolve Disagreements Promptly
43. Accept the Guilt—and Move On
44. Answering Phones: Decide Who and How
45. Get the Respect You Deserve (How to be sure you and your work are taken seriously)
46. The Happy Marriage Partnership Guide to Office Sharing
47. Schedule Periodic “How Goes It” Meetings

Working Well with Your Team
48. Establish a Rock-Solid Foundation of Trust
49. Keep Your Boss Informed
50. Know and Nurture Your Team
51. Stay in Touch with Co-Workers
52. Be (Creatively) Accessible by Telephone
53. Don't Ignore Those Who Resent You
54. Network to Stay Visible and Informed
55. Stay on Track for Promotions (and Other Good Deals)
56. Know When to Ask for Help
57. Master Effective (Virtual) Interaction Skills
58. Technology Talk: Keys to Communicating Without Speaking
59. Determine the Need for “Live” Interactions
60. “Distance Delegation” that Delivers Results
61. Manage the Performance Management Process
62. Reach Agreements that Foster Commitment and Collaboration
63. Resolve Conflicts Effectively and Proactively
64. Master the Fundamentals of Productive Virtual Meetings
65. Make Everyone Skilled and Comfortable in Virtual Meetings
66. Just Say “No”
67. Work Productively With Co-workers Who Share Your Home Office

Working Well with Your External Partners
68. Know Who Provides Your Critical Services and Support
69. Be Your Own Purchasing Manager
70. Select Service Providers that Meet Your Criteria
71. Set Service Expectations and Get Your Desired Result
72. Negotiate Deadlines and Details
73. Establish Consequences for Unsatisfactory Service Performance
74. Get It in Writing
75. Know When to Outsource
76. Establish a Partner Mindset and Relationship
77. Treat People As People
78. Reward Good Work
79. Bartering for Best Results
80. Network Your Partner Network
81. Follow-Up for Best Results
82. Get the Most Out of Business and Professional Associations

Working Well with Tools and Technology
83. Assess Your Real Needs and Choose the Best Technology for You
84. Know Your Backup Options (Before a Crisis Occurs)
85. Be Prepared With the Basic Tools, Too
86. Get Wired—Electrify Your Telecommuting Experience
87. Computer Choices and Conundrums
88. Beyond the Computer: Essential Tools (and Toys) for the Well-Connected Telecommuter
89. Rarely Is a Phone Just a Phone
90. Make Your Phone Calls Chase or Wait for You
91. Manage the Madness of Multiple Machines that Ring or Beep at You
92. Skip the Massage—Get a Headset
93. Which Chair to Buy (When You'd Really Rather Have a Recliner)
94. Learn to Love Voice Mail (and Other Impossibilities)
95. Videoconferencing: The Next Best Thing to Being There?
96. Meet the Challenge of Internet Connections
97. Have Technology, Will Travel
98. If Talking to Yourself Is Interesting, Try Faxing to Yourself
99. Protect Your Equipment (and Your Livelihood)
100. So, Do you Really Need a Speakerphone in the Bathroom?
101. Make Telecommuting Work Well for You
Telecommuting Implementation Guide
Appendices
A. “Make a Case for Telecommuting” Guide
Addendum to Appendix A
B. Telecommuting Resource Guide
Index
About the Author
How To Get (and Give) More Information

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Endorsements

“101 Tips for Telecommuters is much, much more than the title implies. Yes, there are 101 extraordinarily valuable tips, and each one will significantly improve your effectiveness and efficiency. This is, however, not only a book for the increasing number of us who commute down the hall to our work space. It's really a field guide for all people who want to take control of their own lives, and work and live with a sense of mastery. 101 Tips for Telecommuters will help you get your work organized, your life back, and it will make you and your employer (if it's other than you) very, very happy.”
—Jim Kouzes, co-author of The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart, and Chairman Emeritus, Tom Peters Companies

“101 Tips for Telecommuters is packed full of practical ideas that can be applied immediately and are described in an easy-to-use format. This book is destined to become a ‘must have' resource for current and aspiring telecommuters, as well as for organizations who have telecommuters within their workforce.”
—Richard Y. Chang, CEO, Richard Chang Associates, Inc. and 1999 Chair of the Board for the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD)

“Whether you love it or hate it, telecommuting is part of our new reality. This book is an extraordinary collection of useful insights for both the telecommuters and their managers on how to get the maximum benefits from this new way of working. It is chock-full of practical wisdom on all of the issues that a telecommuter faces. Beyond that, it is a useful collection of personal productivity tips for everyone who ever works at home.”
—Jack Zenger, President of PROVANT Inc. and co-founder of Zenger Miller

“This book is unique in that it puts the technology of telecommuting in its proper role, that of the enabler. In the end, it's really all about the people, and Debra Dinnocenzo skillfully tackles those critical success factors of telecommuting.”
—Connie Bentley, President, PACE (A Sylvan Learning Company)

“This book is extraordinarily timely and absolutely on target. It is so valuable I have assigned it as orientation material for all of our telecommuters.”
—Dave Erdman, President, Behavioral Technology®

“Very readable and engaging—the BIBLE for telecommuters!! Add it to your ‘must read' list whether you're already telecommuting or just making the transition to working remotely.”
—Steve McMillen, Director of Leadership Development & Performance Improvement, Hillenbrand Industries, Inc. and co-author of Building Community: The Human Side of Work

“101 Tips for Telecommuters is an extremely valuable resource for anyone seeking to successfully telecommute or work effectively from a home office. Readers will learn how to plan for the most effective use of their workdays and to avoid pitfalls which can lead to failure. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering telecommuting, operating a home office or attempting to improve their efficiency.”
—Stephen M. Paskoff, President, Employment Learning Innovations, Inc.

“Telecommuting is hard work. This is the first practical set of advice for the new generation of distributed workers. Wonderfully, it addresses all aspects of surviving and thriving while working from home. A great read!”
—Elliott Masie, Editor of TechLearn Trends and President of The MASIE Center

“101 Tips for Telecommuters is the right book for those who want to telecom- mute rather than starting their own home-based business. Every company considering telecommuting should be passing out a copy of this book to each of their telecommuters.”
—George M. Piskurich, Technology consultant and author of An Organizational Guide to Telecommuting

“Use this book to convince your boss that you can telecommute successfully— everything you need is here!”
—Deborah Dumaine, President, Better Communications and author of Vest Pocket Guide to Business Writing

“If I only had this guide when I opted to telecommute ten years ago! I learned by trial & error. This book covers it all, read it—overcome obstacles and reap the benefits!”
—Patricia Bruns, Senior Account Executive, Development Dimensions International

“Every telecommuter will gain tremendous insight from the author's first-hand experiences of living and managing the telecommuting process. Increased productivity, effective resource management, generating more income and understanding the key human factors for success will result.”
—Jim Welch, Principal, Welch & Associates

“A practical and fun book. I found many ideas to use in my own work as a telecommuter. The style and content make it feel like a very helpful ‘distance learning' experience.”
—David M. Kolb, Senior Associate/National Accounts, Ridge Associates, Inc.

“A superbly practical guide to telecommuting resonating with the voice of experience. Some books explain what to do, others explain why to do it— Dinnocenzo's book does both. It's a goldmine of information with an application step for each tip, making it a must read if you want to telecommute or want to be a more effective telecommuter.”
—Dr. Jim Dupree, Professor of Business and Communication, Grove City College

“Anyone who is considering working at home, either part time or full time, will find invaluable resources in this book. The telecommuter gets checklists and tips that lead to productive work from home, along with keys to avoiding pitfalls. As a human resource director, I can use this book to persuade our executives to support and encourage telecommuting.”
—Dan Hupp, VP Human Resources, Blattner Brunner, Inc.

“An invaluable resource not only for telecommuters but also every manager who faces the decision of providing employees with the opportunity of ‘working from home' some portion of their time. Debra's expertise in this subject matter becomes clear right from the start and her mindful approach of connecting tips and ideas to the practical business realities of telecommuting puts this book on my short-list of must read for managers.”
—Richard V. Michaels, Managing Partner, Michaels McV

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