Tags: miscellaneous, telework
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I teleworked long distance (>600 km from work site) for a little over 2 years and it took almost a full year for my clients and colleagues to understand that I could do all of my job from a remote location (the old out of sight out of mind). I never found it hard to focus and get down to work because I made a conscious effort to create an office atmosphere during work hours. I now work in office, however am the only employee of my organization in this location and so technically telework to our regional office anyway. It feels a lot like when I did telework from home, but now with the further distractions of other departments around me and the lure of coffee/lunch shopping trips.
The most difficult aspect of telework for me is the isolation - and this from a very comfortable introvert. What I mean is, not being included in the social aspects of your team or the spontaneous informal discussions. I often get news well after the fact because the conversations have already happened around the coffee maker well before they do at the videoconference table. With this 'virtual team' becoming more common in the Canadian federal service, I think we have to look beyond just 'performance' of the teleworking individual and how they really become part of the team.
I am a big fan of teleworking at least once or twice a week. I live kinda far from GovLoop and between parking fees and Metro rush hour prices, it can be fairly pricey to commute every day. That being said, I do sometimes face misunderstandings about teleworking. My husband teleworks a lot ... and my parents and in-laws sometimes don't understand that, even though we are home, we are, in fact, WORKING. No, we can't talk on the phone for an hour or meet for lunch or run errands. :)
After a couple of attempts at teleworking, I've concluded that I need the psychological break between being home and being in the office to get my mind into work mode. Also, I still deal with a large volume of paper at my job, so teleworking means hauling a bunch of files back and forth on the train - no thanks. That said, what I would prefer is more flexible scheduling, where instead of required face time from 9-5, I can do 10-6 or some variation thereof.
I actually feel the same way (though I don't have a wife and kids). I'd rather be in the office working than at home working most of the time. I usually only telecommute if I'm visiting my parents (as I'm doing today).
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