Archive for the ‘Work at Home Stories’ Category

• Commute for Fun, Not for Work

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.

• New Telework Friendly Communities Page Coming

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.

• Small World, Huge Differences

Working at home as a writer, in this era of the world wide web, I’m occasionally stopped in my tracks by how small the world is and how huge our cultural differences are.

This was brought home today as I talked about cybersecurity with Doron Pely, a former Israeli intelligence officer. I’m in California, he’s in Israel, and Skype allowed us to talk as easily as I talk to friends a few miles away or on the East Coast.

Pely is trying to understand how the methods of settling disputes in the multi-cultural community of Gaza and surrounding area might be use to solve problems in other areas of the world. If and when they manage to figure them out there, of course.

The problem today, he says, is that interest-based negotiation is a western technique that’s culturally impossible for Muslim communities to understand, nevermind accept. Tribal by nature and history, agreements are reached with the help of intermediaries for the very good reason that if you sit down with someone face to face he’s close enough to kill you. So agreements are reached by negotation and finalized with arbitration—all with the help of third parties. “Let us sit and reason together” in out of the question.

In the midst of this conversation I heard what I thought was sirens, and considering where he is I wondered if something was up. No, he said, it’s just loud-speakers calling Muslim faithful to prayer at sundown and announcing the end of the daily Ramadan fast.

He turned his laptop and with the built-in webcam showed me the view from his window of the city, 7500 miles away, and a fort on a neighboring hill that dates back to the Ottoman Empire.

Sitting at my desk in Southern California, with a view of the Pacific Ocean it’s thrilling to think that the technology we’ve developed makes it possible for us to literally and figuratively share views. But it also makes me sad to think that there are people there and people here that are eager to kill each other, simply over differences in views thanks to accident of birth and differences in culture.