A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Anywhere Office = Anywhere Liability   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The 20th-Century office is dead. According to Telework Trendlines 2009, WorldatWork’s new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, the number of Americans working remotely at least once a month jumped 39%, from 12.4 million in 2006 to 17.2 million in 2008. Last year Congress even introduced bills that would encourage and expand telework programs in the federal government. Although the disap- pearing office boundaries caused by technological advances have obvious benefits for employers and employees, something else is dissolving along with those cubicle walls: clear limit lines of employer liability.

Genova, Gina L. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Legal>Telecommuting>Workplace


Can You Be a Web Worker From a Small Town?

Part of the promise of working independently is to able to live and work where ever you choose. Getting away from the big city sounds great, but can you really work remotely from a small town? Can the technology support it?

McCray, Becky. Web Worker Daily (2008). Careers>Telecommuting>Online


Communication in International Virtual Offices   (PDF)

Advances in communication technologies mean that colleagues from different parts of the world can work together in the same online space. In some cases, that space is an e-mail exchange, text messaging, or a shared corporate intranet site; in other cases, it is an electronic bulletin board or chat room related to a project. These shared online work spaces—or international virtual offices (IVOs)—provide a level of interaction that can reduce production costs and shorten production cycles.

St. Amant, Kirk R. Intercom (2003). Careers>Telecommuting>Collaboration>Workplace


The Dirty Little Secrets of Telecommuting

In the year 2007, higher-ups and bigwigs in Corporate America still believe that telecommuting is not a good activity for their workers' long-term career plans. Trends@Work data revealed that 61 percent of surveyed execs believe that telecommuters are less likely to advance in their careers when compared with employees who work in the traditional office setting. That's almost two-thirds of the 1,320 respondents.

Wailgum, Thomas. CIO Magazine (2009). Careers>Telecommuting


Essentials for the Mobile Writer

For the freelance writer on the go, there are some items that are essential for what they're doing. This post looks at the gear that one writer uses when working away from the home office.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2009). Careers>Freelance>Telecommuting>Writing


Fifteen Tips for Remote Collaboration

It will always be easier to rally a group of people who work in the same building, but you can accomplish just as much (or more) with a motivated remote team. Getting team members motivated in the first place and holding their interest are your goals. Here are fifteen quick and useful tips to get you started.

Young, Indi. Adaptive Path (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Telecommuting


Five Keys to a Successful Remote Writing Project

I’ve been on my fair share of remote writing projects, including technical writing, contributing to books and writing for publications. Working on such projects and hearing from clients and colleagues about successful (and less so) remote writing projects, I’ve come to see that actions of both the writer and the client can influence the outcomes.

Kelly, William T. Web Worker Daily (2010). Articles>Writing>Telecommuting


Go Home! An Introduction to Virtual Officing   (PDF)

The information and technology wave of the 1990s has brought with it a new way of working: virtual officing. A May 1991 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 21.8 million nonagricultural home workers, including 20 million who worked at home for their primary job. When considering a virtual arrangement, you need to decide if you and your work are right for virtual officing. Once you decide to work virtually, you need to know how to present your idea to your employer or customer and how to arrange your work environment and schedule for optimum performance.

Wolfe Sharp, Flo. STC Proceedings (1999). Careers>Telecommuting


Have Modem, Won't Travel: Telecommuting as a Career Enabler for Technical Communicators with Disabilities   (PDF)

The detailed Mission Plan for the Special Needs Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) has an objective to extend the availability of online technical communication resources and a strategy for achieving that objective. Specifically, Strategy 1.5, reads as follows: Encourage Special Needs SIG members to research and report on the use of telecommuting in the field of technical communication and study the viability of telecommunication as a means of increasing the employability of practitioners with special needs.

Marty, Helen A. STC Proceedings (2003). Careers>Telecommuting>Accessibility


Home Office Advantage   (PDF)

Working at home can be an option for you in the hectic atmosphere of the 90's. If you create an effective work environment, your work can be more productive while being in the comfort of your own home.

Hoffman, Sandi. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Telecommuting


How Do You Walk the Line Between Work and Home? Share Your Best Practices With ALA

At $4.14 a gallon in the United States, $5.29 a gallon in Canada, and $8.70 a gallon in the U.K., the price of gas is just one reason many web workers now commute from the bed to the basement as part of a conscious choice to work from home.

List Apart, A. Careers>Advice>Telecommuting


How to Win Friends and Influence People Remotely

Living in Australia and working with team members based in the US and India, discovering ways of being more effective in my job, has become a bit of a hobby. However my situation is not unique. Knowledge workers are increasingly required to work in a distributed manner – in some cases this is working specific weekdays from home, in other cases it involves close interaction with team members spread across continents.

Stapleton, Patrick. Boxes and Arrows (2010). Careers>Telecommuting>Collaboration


The Invisible Writer

Telecommuting benefits companies: it lowers costs and saves space –no rental of your office space; it lowers absenteeism –You don’t have to take time off as much as the next worker; it increases productivity – fewer distractions.

Allen, Daree. STC Proceedings (2008). Careers>Telecommuting>Presentations


Managing by Remote Control   (PDF)

Langhoff discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the growing practice of telecommuting, and issues that managers face when their staffs telecommute.

Langhoff, June. Intercom (2001). Careers>Telecommuting


Managing the Virtual Worker/Telecommuter   (PDF)

Virtual workers/telecommuters are employees who perform assigned duties at an alternative site (usually home) during some or all of their scheduled work hours. With the number of full-time virtual workers expected to exceed 13.5 million in the U.S. within the next two years and 130 million worldwide by 2003, managers are more often being confronted with a new type of employee. As a result, we need to make adjustments in how we manage them, when compared to the on-site employee. We need to learn how to screen and select viable candidates, develop new guidelines (e.g., state expectations clearly, manage by results, communicate often, plan ahead for meetings, and consider special needs such as administrative support), learn what goes into a work agreement, and consider technology impacts.

Heikes, Peter C. STC Proceedings (2001). Careers>Management>Telecommuting


Managing the Virtual Worker/Telecommuter   (PDF)

Heikes presents guidelines for managers of telecommuters that suggest how to make the most of this increasingly popular work arrangement.

Heikes, Peter C. Intercom (2002). Careers>Telecommuting


Managing Today’s Commuters Across the Miles   (PDF)

The Technical Communication Department at Allen-Bradley, a sustaining member of STC, is located in Highland Heights, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This reporting structure alone has forced telecommuting between the managerial and supervisory levels, with management located in Ohio and supervisors in Wisconsin. Additionally, the department has telecommuting communicators located throughout Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

Bottoms, Charles W., Linda Gomez, Jean M. Jahnke and Greg D. Kroeze. STC Proceedings (1995). Careers>Telecommuting>Management


Revisiting the Webcam   (PDF)

Considers the current state of webcam technology.

Archee, Raymond K. Intercom (2004). Articles>Technology>Telecommuting>Video


Rural Telecommuting: Making It Work for You   (PDF)

Employees and independent contractors working at home are freed from the need for proximity to their company by modern communications tools. The path is open to consider locating your home office away from urban areas. This workshop describes some of the many issues one person considered and faced while moving to a rural office-home three years ago. Find out what worked, what didn’t work, what the surprises were, and how to evaluate and plan for your move.

Johnson, Norton R. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Telecommuting>Consulting


Saving Money With Virtual Teams and Working at a Distance Without Travel

In this article, I will identify some of the tools we have used to bring together contractors, writers, and clients for our projects. Often, to determine a tool’s value, I will use a trial version. Some tools are very valuable but cost more, while others are functional and free. Although I cannot recommend which tools are best for your organization, I do recommend trying those tools that might fit your needs.

Stuhlemmer, Barbara. TechCom Manager (2009). Careers>Collaboration>Telecommuting>Teleconferencing


So Near and Yet So Far: Tips for Working With, Managing, or Working as a Remote Resource   (PDF)

The use of remote resources who work from a home office has potential advantages, such as enhanced productivity and motivation, cost savings, and personal and organizational flexibility. It also has potential disadvantages such as isolation, lack of direct supervision and communication, and increased travel expenditures. Constructing a win-win solution for remote resources, their managers, and their co-workers involves consistently using imaginative solutions to maximize the advantages of the situation and to minimize its disadvantages. Examples include using differences in work schedules and time zones to create a 'second shift.' Successful outcomes also require an increased emphasis on structured two-way communication.

Cassidy, George and Pete Larson. STC Proceedings (2002). Careers>Telecommuting>Management


Telecommuter's Notebook: 15 Things I Miss About the Office

Sure, telecommuting is great. Until you realize you've got nothing but moldy cheese in the refrigerator for lunch, you're way out of the gossip loop and you never get the Friday afternoon back-slaps.

Wailgum, Thomas. CIO Magazine (2009). Careers>Telecommuting


Telecommuting Perspectives: Home Sweet Off Ice?   (PDF)

Telecommuting is becoming increasingly acceptable and prevalent. Software developers were reportedly the first large group of technical professionals to leave the company environment for their offices at home. Now, large numbers of technical communicators are joining the trend. T&y are sharing their workspace at their places of employment and are converting area-s of their homes to offices. Our panel presentation will discuss the benefits of telecommuting to both management and to the telecommuter. 5%ere are also drawbacks for the telecommuter. These include effects of isolation - i.e., having no one to confer with OF to exchange comments with about work-related concerns.

McGuire, Mildred E., James M. Moran, Lee Anne Center, Mary K. Tetreau and Tina M. McGuire. STC Proceedings (1997). Careers>Telecommuting


Telecommuting Workers and Policies: Managing Change in the 90s   (PDF)

Telecommuting brings a major change to the work habits of millions of employees. More than just working from your home, telecommuting includes all vital links that maintain communications with your fellow workers. Implementing, managing, and adapting to this major change in our work lives requires innovative skills and increased flexibility in traditional roles. Successful telecommuting policies also require support and open minds throughout the corporate support structure and a higher level of responsibility from the worker.

McCoy, Frank. STC Proceedings (1994). Careers>Telecommuting


Telecommuting: Eight Tips for Success   (PDF)

Shares tips with new telecommuters on setting up a home office, maintaining work discipline, staying connected with colleagues and clients, and easing a doubting manager's anxieties.

Steiner, Rob. Intercom (2007). Careers>Telecommuting



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