Blog Posts

• Commute for Fun, Not for Work

October 22nd, 2010

Now here’s a switch, instead of commuting to work, this snowboarding enthusiast chose telework so he can commute to fun! Here’s a video he put together for Elance’s “What does your cloud commute look like?” video contest.

In case you don’t know, Elance is one of the largest online freelance job boards in the world. $25,000 new projects are posted every month. You can submit your own video to the Elance Cloud Commute contest through November 17th.. The Grand Prize winner gets a trip to the world capital of their choice. Second place gets you an iPad! And there are more prizes too.

As for Ted Bendixson, the snowboarding freelance copywriter who did this video, he works from home whenever he’s not out enjoying the sunshine and trying gnarly new tricks. If the weather isn’t so great, he just stays inside and puts in a few extra hours. Mother Nature determines his schedule—he says she’s the friendliest boss you’ll ever meet!

In his own words:

A lot of people ask me how I got started, and I only have one answer - in the trenches. I used lower-paying writing gigs to build up a portfolio, and once I had a big enough reputation, I used it to get more of the better paying jobs. Freelance writing started off as part-time work to supplement my job waiting tables out in Mt. Hood Oregon, and in less than one year, I took the business full-time.

Because my clients come from all around the world, and I meet them on sites like Elance, Odesk, and Vworker, it doesn’t really matter where I live. Last spring, I decided to take the plunge and fly out to New Zealand for a southern hemisphere winter. I worked from my home the entire time I was there, and my business didn’t suffer in the slightest.

If I have a tip for anyone, it’s this. When you deliver quality work, and you are always striving to learn more about the fundamentals of your business, you will do well no matter where you are. You can even grow out your hair, wear baggy clothes, and snowboard in the summer.

If you need some gnarly copy, you can reach Ted at his Elance site. We may use him ourselves thanks to his video intro.

Blog Posts

• Results-Based Management – The Key To Flexible Work

October 20th, 2010

Let’s face it, the real reason telecommuting and other flexibility programs haven’t caught on is because fundamentally, managers don’t trust their employees to work untethered. “How do I know they’re really working if I can’t see them?” ask managers. That question, and the fact that it’s asked so often, points to a real problem with management today. Whether your employees are down the hall or thousands of miles away, if you’re not managing by results, you really don’t know who’s working and who isn’t.

In our latest whitepaper: Results-Based Management: The Key to Unlocking Talent and Increasing Productivity (sponsored by Citrix Online GoToMeeting), we examine:

• How the combination of flexibility and results-based management is transforming the nature of work.

• Why results-based management is fundamental to your success

• How Best Buy, BDO USA and others have gained a competitive advantage by embracing a culture of flexibility

• What the experts say about how and why to manage by results.

Click To Download PDF

Results-Based Management: The Key to Unlocking Talent and Increasing Productivity

(sponsored by Citrix Online/GoToMeeting)

Once considered just an HR strategy, innovative, successful companies including Fortune 500 firms have embraced results-based management and flexible work as an essential business strategy. They’ve learned that when they ignore the where, when, and how work is done, and focus on results, their people are more productive, more creative, and more successful. What’s more, this new way of working allows companies to do more with less—less buildings, less pollution, less overtime, and less waste. Their employees are doing more with less too—less stress, less distractions, less commuting. For companies, that all translates into greater loyalty, engagement, and productivity.

“70% of the workforce is not engaged”

Recent research by Gallup shows than 70% of the workforce is not engaged. They’re either wandering around in a fog, or actively undermining their co-workers’ success. They’re burned out, disenfranchised, and according to Right Management, over 80% are ready to jump ship.

“80% of employees are looking elsewhere”

Eyeing the end of the recession, employees are no longer happy just to have a job. Boomers who haven’t already made their exit are planning for it. Gen X-ers watched their workaholic parents, and aren’t about to make the same mistakes. Gen Y-ers grew up independent, tech savvy, and were taught to question authority. Now they’re questioning their employers. This is not your father’s workforce.

Research shows that what employees of all age groups want is the flexibility to determine for themselves where, when, and how they work.

In his bestselling book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink observes that despite four decades of scientific research on human motivation, there’s an immense mismatch between what science knows and what management does.

Management styles that were born in the days of sweatshops and typing pools are still pervasive in business today. For a technologically adept workforce in a global, mobile workplace those styles don’t work at best, and sabotage success at worst. “While carrots and sticks worked successfully in the 20th century, it’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people today,” writes Pink.

Demographic, cultural, economic, and technological realities have forever changed the nature of work. Leading change agents agree, companies that haven’t culturally adopted that results are what matter will be chewing the dust of those that have.

Click here for a link to the download: Results-Based Management: The Key to Unlocking Talent and Increasing Productivity

Our thanks to the following for their insights and contributions to the paper:

- Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, architects of the Results Only Work Environment, authors of Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It (Portfolio 2008), and principals of CultureRx/GoROWE

- Cali Williams Yost, author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You (Penguin, 2005) and principal of the Flex+Strategy Group

- Diane Burrus, Senior Consultant, WFD Consulting for Corporate Voices for Working Families

- Dick Finnegan, President, Finnegan Mackenzie

- Elham Shirazi, Principal, e-Planning

- Jim Ware, Executive Producer, Work Design Collaborative

- Jennifer Rosenzwieg, Director of Research, The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement

- Judi Casey, Principal Investigator and Director, Sloan Work and Family Research Network

- Daniel H. Pink, NYT best-selling author of Drive, A Whole New Mind, Free Agent Nation, and The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

- Hewitt Associates, now part of AON

- Jeffrey Hill, PhD and Associate Professor, Brigham Young University School of Family Life

- Joel Hedberg, HR Director, H.B. Fuller

- Joyce Gioia, the Herman Group

- Kathy Lynch, Marcie Pitt Catsouphes, Elyssa Besen and Christina Matz-Costa, the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College

- Ken Gonzalez, Managing Partner, Engaged Consulting Inc.

- Marcee Harris Schwartz, Strategy Advisor, BDO USA

- Mitch Pisik, serial change agent and President, Breckwell Products

- Meryl Rosenthal, CEO and President, FlexPaths LLC

- Patricia Kempthorne, President/CEO, Twiga Foundation, Inc

- Helene Cavalli, Right Management

- Rose Stanley, Work-Life Practice Leader, WorldatWork

- Susan Seitel, President and Founder, WFC Resources

A special thanks to Citrix Online for their financial support!

GoToMeeting, GoToMyPC, GoToWebinar,

GoToTraining, GoToAssist, HDFaces

Blog Posts

• Telecommuting Canada Project Wins Award

October 20th, 2010

Three cheers for two of Ontario Canada’s government agencies. The Central Agencies I&IT Cluster (CAC) and Children’s Youth and Social Services Cluster (CYSSC) recently won the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Showcase 201o Diamond Award for their telework proof of concept projects.

Both agencies have enabled 10% of their staff to work from home three days a week. As part of the  pilot, each telecommuter was given a standard laptop, a business telephone, and secure internet access through a virtual private network.Ontario Canada Flag

Participants were screened on issues such as suitability of their role, depth of knowledge of their current job, agreement with their managers, and availability of a satisfactory home office. Significant direction was provided in the areas of workplace health and safety, work‐life balance, security, and performance management by outcomes.

The pilot projects arose from the recognition that telecommuting could have a profound impact on employee engagement. The government’s support for flexible work stems from their desire to become an employer of first choice. Hmm, that kinda sounds like what our own government’s Director of the Office Personnel recently said about wanting to make government jobs cool again.

The pilot programs have successfully increased staff productivity, improved employee satisfaction and  work‐life balance, reduced green house gases, and is helping the government reduce its office footprint.

For more on telecommuting in Canada, check out this post on Calgary’s innovative Workshift Calgary program and the great stuff Bob Fortier does at the Canadian Telework Association.

Blog Posts

• New Telework Friendly Communities Page Coming

October 19th, 2010

Looking for a new home in a community that’s friendly to telework? You’ve come to the right place . . . or at least it will be soon.

A couple days ago, out of cyberspace, we received this email message:

“I found your site through telework.org.uk when asking for a similar site in the US. I am a software consultant who works from home and am looking for a place to advertise the very teleworker friendly community of Rainier, Oregon. Would you be interested in starting a section on such communities?”

Heck yes, we said—if you’ll accept the job as Communities Editor (fancy title in leu of fancy salary).

Heck yes, he said.

So we’ll let Scott introduce himself:

I was a road warrior doing about 130 days a year on the road and living in Baltimore.  My wife works for EDS/HP and does project management and is a full time teleworker. When our son graduated from high school my wife wanted to move close to family considering my time on the road and the empty house during the week due to my road time and my only requirement for where I lived was close to a regional airport and high speed internet.  This prompted me to look outside that commuting radius of Portland Oregon for a place on the water with low property prices and hight speed internet, enter Rainier, OR.  Shortly after moving to Rainier I was diagnosed with cancer and the following year meant no road time.  Fortunately my management worked with me and found work that allowed me to keep my job in a remote status.  Things worked out well enough that when I was cancer free it developed into a full time “remote” position.   But it does look like the work done will create several more full time remote positions within our team in the future.

An inspirational story and precisely the kind of situation that allows individuals, companies, and communities to benefit from telecommuting.

Scott will have the first entry for our new Telework Communities page up in the next few days. Sign up for the RSS feed or come back and visit and we’ll have the straight poop on telework friendly communities for you.

Blog Posts

• Hit the Shower – GoToMeeting Adds HD Video

October 18th, 2010

If you’ve ever used GoToMeeting from CitrixOnline you know how easy it is to use. Well, catch this, they’ve just announced that starting in January of 2011, you’ll be able to see and be seen in full HD quality video. Best of all, they’ll be delivering this new service at no extra cost. If you subscribe to GoToMeeting, it’s just another option.

For us telecommuters, that means having to take a shower, get dressed, warn the rest of the family, and if you have an HD camera, trim your nose hair before a virtual meeting. But, we can still laugh at all those silly people who drive back and forth to an office everyday. And I can’t wait for the bloopers.

Here’s a video that shows how CitrixOnline’s HDFaces will work: