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Showing posts from May, 2012

Telecommuting: Embracing the Possibilities

Visalia Direct: Virtual Valley
May 7, 2012 Deadline
June 2012 Issue

Telecommuting: Embracing the Possibilities

My wife, Susan, works for a company located in the suburbs of Minneapolis. I work for a university located about 20 miles from Pittsburgh. For us, the promise of telecommuting has become a reality. We are able to live in the foothills we love, surrounded by trees and wildlife, working from the comfort of our home offices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, only 3.3 percent of workers are able to telecommute. Some jobs do require a physical location for meeting with clients or working on physical products, but too many employers are overlooking the benefits of allowing workers to telecommute.

When I was in college, my employer loaned me a DEC-VT102 terminal and paid for a high-speed network connection to my apartment. That was in 1988. I worked as a programmer, one of the few professions that could telecommute at the time. My employer was thrilled to have some…

Moving Day

Today, my wife and I will be moving in to our new house. This means we will be without an Internet connection for two or three days, so I won't be online until the weekend or early next week. Also, moving doesn't leave much time to be online for the next week or so.

To make matters more complicated, I have a medical procedure in the middle of the day. I started this morning packing boxes, trying to get what I can done before the out-patient procedure. You never know how long it will take to recover from the anesthesia and general discomfort when you have any medial procedure.

The notion of being off-line, disconnected from readers and friends, is a little frustrating. What does that say about our culture and our strange need to be connected at all times? It's as if we don't exist without a network connection.

Last year, I tried to have at least one "tech free" day a week. This didn't mean no phone, but it meant no sitting at a computer and working. …