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It almost happened to me...

About seven years ago I worked for Hennepin County as a welfare case worker. At the time the county started to allow certain employees to share their case files and let one person work from home one week and allow the other person to work from home the next week. Naturally this appealed to the most of the employees but only a certain amount of workers could get approved per three month trial period. It got so competitive that we eventually had to write proposals as to why we deserved to be the next team to telecommute.

A coworker/friend of mine decided she wanted to telecommute and she asked me to be on her team. I wrote the proposal and met with her team manager to discuss the details of how we would work as a team. Her manager informed us that she liked the proposal and that we were next to be considered for telecommuting. Shortly after that major changes happened within the county and our telecommuting proposal (or anyone else's) never went through because they were changing the entire structure of the Hennepin County Welfare Department.

What I'm trying to get at is I have always dreamed of working from home. I'm not anti-social but there's something about being in a non-structured environment that appeals to me. I wouldn't even mind being at the office every other week and in fact that would be probably be beneficial as far as building positive working relationships. I like that Zelenka mentions over and over how important it is to keep positive relationships while being a web worker. I think would be important to try and connect with people while you are working at home. It's great advice to IM instead of email if you are working closely with another person that you may never meet. When working on the class wiki I felt that Liz and I were fine sending emails back and forth but if this was something we worked on all the time I would imagine that using an IM would be a better way to manage our working relationship.

I still dream of a future were I can work from home and never have to do public speaking presentations. I really loved my two online courses this semester. Some people warned me that I wouldn't like it but I loved it and I wish I could take all my classes online.

Comments

I agree with Zelenka and you that it is important to maintain relationships while you are web-working. Otherwise it’s like you are a robot, with no human contact, just work work work. My group members and I used email frequently, but sometimes it was not enough. We do not have the same instant message program and so were unable to use that. But even if we did, I don’t know if it would have helped us in this case. It was really beneficial to do our three-way phone calls; it allowed us to get everyone on the same page. This was extremely helpful too in determining what our next step should be; especially when we all had different opinions.

One of the greatest challenges I had with communicating for this project was using the programs from work. Since I work for a medical device company, there are certain things we cannot access from the office. Facebook is on that list, IMs are on that list and I am waiting for Twitter to show up as well. We have access to LinkedIn, but I feel weird going to the site at work since my boss friended me and I swear he is watching me, especially now that I have a new degree in an area not directly related to what I do. Still, Kary and I had our choice of tools to use and we chose the one that worked best for us. The point is, we had a choice!!