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Tech Writing Sample:
Telecommuting Web Site

• To read this page OFFLINE: (In your browser, in its formatted style...)
Save As or export as "source" format. Then "open file" within your browser software offline.

• To PRINT this page from your browser:
We recommend an 80% reduction to easily fit standard 8.5 x 11" page width.

This excerpt is from an original draft written
by Kass Johns for U S WEST (copyright).

[Home Page:]

:: Telecommuting
:: Teleworking
:: Remote Employee
:: Virtual Office
:: Working from home

...This is Extended Workplace Solutions from U S WEST(tm) — we call it EWS(tm). You need to think about your business and how it will get done within the new work paradigm for the turn of the century. It may not be viable anymore to think of an employee solely as located in a cubicle or office on your premises. The talent wars are beginning — quality workers are becoming harder to find and retain. Employers need to be more flexible. Your clients demand customer satisfaction at any time, your company needs to stand ready to address those needs.

Remember when a telephone was your only option to work remotely? Maybe, if you were a large well-financed company, you had a telex machine. Then came faxes. Do you still think that a fax is the useless thing that you thought it was in the beginning? How about a computer — would you think of doing business without one today? A few years added to the technology evolution scale and email has become another standard for business communications. Now we have the Internet and Web sites to add to our marketing, reference, and support potential. Extended Workplace Solutions are available; you need a service provider who understands the technology and can assemble it into the correct solution for you.

What is Telecommuting?

Commonly defined, telecommuting is an employee who works from a remote location one or more days a month. This can be working from; a home office, a "hotel" office (a shared office for teleworkers at the company), a mobile office (laptop traveler/virtual office), a satellite office (company-owned office closer to where the employees live), or, a neighborhood work center (a shared office setup for employees of many companies, near where they live).

Benefits to Extending Your Workplace [link #1]

What Extended Workplaces Are and Are Not [link #2]

Jobs or Job Tasks Best Suited to Extended Workplaces [link #3 (phase 2)]

[Page Link #1:]


Benefits of Extending Your Workplace

- Attract and retain top talent

The talent wars have begun. Fast Company Magazine says that, in 15 years, there will be 15% fewer Americans in the 35- to 45-year-old range than there are now. Factor in the economic growth rate and increased demand for bright, talented individuals in this age group, and you will see the need to find and keep great talent on your staff.

- Incentive for new hires

How many times have you seen the great talent you need but they are not willing to relocate or they have set other priorities in their lives? These individuals know they are talented and can practically set their own criteria for employment. Maybe your competition can pay more, but they can't offer the flexibility that an extended workplace program can offer. Many highly-skilled people work very well in an independent atmosphere. They don't need or desire constant human interaction with co-workers or supervisors. These employees find that the technology can serve them well in maintaining a working relationship, be it down the street, across town or across the country.

- Possible savings in relocation budgets

If the talent you want on your team is not willing to move, and their job responsibilities support it, maybe they don't need to live in your community. Commuting via telephone, video conferencing, modem and fax is very feasible. For the important face-to-face meetings, air travel can take up that slack. It has become fairly common for people to live in one state and work in another, even a coast to coast (once a month) commute is not unusual.

Budgets are dwindling. You may not have the money to relocate the new hire. Your desired candidate may not wish to move for several reasons. They may have a lifestyle they have become ingrained in, a spouse with their own career, a grounded family life, or dependent parents nearby. Extending your workplace to them might be a solution to your needs.

- Productivity increases

With disaster recovery plans to cover down time, productivity increases. The average teleworker reports an increase in productivity when they telecommute. Studies have shown that since the ideal teleworker is an independent self-starter, they often work more hours and/or later than someone needing constant supervision. Normal office distractions and interruptions are lessened for the teleworker.

Once the commuting, distraction and interruption barrier is removed, they tend to put in that extra time to get the task-at-hand finished. The State of California Telecommuting Pilot Program reported a 10-30% increase in productivity. The 1997 AT&T National Study of Teleworker Attitudes reported a 22% (on average) increase in productivity — 71% said it was due to uninterrupted concentration.

Sick time is often decreased because when a worker calls in sick, they may be too sick for a commute, but often can do some work from home between naps and rest.

- Real estate and associated expenses

Not just relocation budgets are shrinking; so is office space. Remember the large office or cubicle you had back when you began with the company? As the company grows, so does the need for more employees — and more space to house those employees. Telecommuting can help alleviate that burden by allowing office sharing between two telecommuters or a drop-in cube arrangement. When onsite, the telecommuter can use the shared office space.

- Just in Time production

When off standard hours business happens, you can have someone there to represent your company. Ready to answer client and customer needs.

- Weather and disaster recovery

How many times have you had to allow employees to go home early or not come in at all when a weather related event happens: a flood, tornado, earthquake, or severe snowstorm. Or, maybe a public transportation strike or hazardous accident on their commuting route might prevent your employees from getting to work in a timely manner. If your employees worked at an extended workplace, they could continue to work and you would have work to show for what would have been down time.

© Copyright 1996-2001 for U S WEST (written by Kass Johns), all rights reserved world wide.
This work may not be used on another Web site or online service, sold for profit, included within commercial works, or altered or changed in any way without the express written permission of the author and/or copyright owner.



© Copyright 1996-2001 v.1.9.01
Kass Johns
Technical Writer & Consultant to the Publishing & Telecommunications Industries
Colorado Springs, CO • www.kassj.com • 719/635-1306 (vc)
kass at kassj dot com

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