Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Perils of Telecommuting- Here, There Be Monsters…




    Any of you ladies and gents take the leap and work from home? I’ve just recently entered this work force (After a year of trying to break in. Woo hoo, right?). I was lucky enough to get an internship, helping design web pages. Really awesome work; very exciting, fascinating stuff, even if I don’t understand half of what I feel like I should (curb the blonde jokes, if you please).
   Anyways, I really enjoy the flexibility, and I love the work I’m actually doing, but I’ve noticed a plethora of pitfalls that I hadn’t really thought about previously.
   For example: Do you know how hard it is to get feedback?? Now, admittedly, this is a problem no matter where you go, and it can often depend on who you’re working with. But it does seem to be standard with telecommuting. There is little/no face to face- or even vocal contact. This means that if they don’t tell you how you’re doing, you will NEVER KNOW how bad you are at your job. In a traditional work environment, you learn to read your boss a little bit; When Mr. Phil is displeased, he quirks his eyebrow. When Ms. Guttersnipe expects more from you, she nods and says, “Uh huh…”
   All these little personality quirks people have that tell you when you are providing appropriate work or when you’re close to being canned- You don’t have these things through a computer. I mean; I’m an amateur linguist, a writer, and a relational sort of person. So I’m very good at literally reading people and understanding them. But even I need a frame of reference.
   Also, if you’re any sort of person who likes to see the “big picture”, good luck! My brain has trouble making sense of things if I don’t know how it works with the rest of the process. So when I’m given this one little corner of work to do, and not told how it helps the greater cause, I end up sitting there for a few minutes, totally flummoxed, trying to figure out how to do what I need to in order to be helpful. It’s a horrible, lost sort of feeling…
So yes: Pitfalls. Beware them, my friends. They bite…

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