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#ProdChat – 12/11/13 – Productive #Telecommuting

#ProdChat – 12/11/13 – Productive #Telecommuting

  1. @Yahoo‘s @marissamayer banned #telecommuting this year! Today, we’re discussing telecommuting #productivity for the rest of us! #prodchat
  2. So, let’s start with introductions! In a tweet, introduce yourself. #prodchat
  3. Hi! Michelle, here. I’m a productivity enthusiast, GTD and OmniFocus user, and co-host of GTD@ Virtual Study Group. #ProdChat
  4. Q1: DO YOU CURRENTLY TELECOMMUTE FOR WORK P/T OR F/T? IS IT PRODUCTIVE FOR YOU? #prodchat
  5. Joining #ProdChat now… expect a heavier volume of tweets me for the hour… or better yet, join us! :)
  6. Please add #prodchat to your tweets. Questions will come IN ALL CAPS as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. Answer A1, A2, A3, etc. for readability!
  7. A1: I spent much of my work life on the road, so while I don’t consider myself a telecommuter I do a lot of telecommuting! LOL #prodchat
  8. A1 I currently freelance, so I have a home office. (Super convenient!) #ProdChat
  9. A1b: And, yes, it’s productive. I have to get things done while I’m on the road! #prodchat
  10. A1 But I have telecommuted in the past and found it to be very helpful when I really needed to laser focus #ProdChat
  11. RT @michgunn A1 I currently freelance, so I have a home office. (Super convenient!) #ProdChat
  12. It does seem to be a slow night, tonight. Hopefully we can all liven it up! ;) RT @nmhouston: @michgunn hi! #ProdChat
  13. @rsidneysmith depends on how you define “telecommute” . . . I do work from home many days. #prodchat
  14. A1 It’s funny, I have friends that don’t like working from home. They find it too easy to get distracted by non-work stuff #ProdChat
  15. @nmhouston Yeah, it can be a loose term; for me, it’s “I have an office, but I choose to (or am allowed) to work from home. #prodchat
  16. Q2: HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS WHEN #TELECOMMUTING (STAFF, VENDORS, COWORKERS, BOSS, CLIENTS)? #prodchat
  17. @michgunn Yeah, in which case, I would imagine it’s best for them to work at the office! LOL #prodchat
  18. I worked in an open plan office, and when I just needed to and dive full on into a project, sometimes outside the office is best. #ProdChat
  19. My home office is much better for serious writing than my office at the university. So I write at home, prep classes on campus. #prodchat
  20. @michgunn I can understand that. A change of scenery is sometimes really helpful. #prodchat
  21. @nmhouston Hahaha. That’s great! Most people forget that they aren’t locked into either. It’s when management bans their… #prodchat
  22. A2 Same way we did in the office, instant messaging and email. Then add video chats. Just missing the coffee clutching… #prodchat
  23. @nmhouston …ability that it’s really a shame! Self-management is so important to people’s overall success. #prodchat
  24. A2: I have to connect with people in every possible way I can to stay connected…email, phone, video chat, Social Media, etc. #prodchat
  25. @rsidneysmith totally agree — being able to choose to work at office or at home is a huge factor in job satisfaction #prodchat
  26. I think it’s a bit more complicated of a scenario. There’s culture and responsibility to be built around it… #ProdChat
  27. @michgunn yes, if I’m working mostly from home I try to set up coffee dates so I don’t forget how to talk to people f2f :) #prodchat
  28. @michgunn Hahaha. A recent study found that people who telecommuted connected more with coworkers because they weren’t feet away. #prodchat
  29. @michgunn When you’re always in people’s space, it makes it less “special” to connect with them. #prodchat
  30. MT @nmhouston if I’m working mostly from home I try to set up coffee dates so I don’t forget how to talk to people f2f :) #prodchat
  31. @michgunn Hey Michelle! Finally caught up to the GTD VSG podcasts.. Congrats again! #prodchat
  32. Aw, thanks!! :) RT @IsaPinaud: @michgunn Hey Michelle! Finally caught up to the GTD VSG podcasts.. Congrats again! #prodchat
  33. A2b: I find it fascinating that it’s tough for me to connect with everyday contacts b/c of travel, but I’m always in meetings. #prodchat
  34. @EBPhD Well, even more of a welcome to your first #prodchat! You’ll fit in really well here if your interest is #productivity! ;-)
  35. Q3: HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR WEB CONNECTIVITY IS STABLE WHEN WORKING REMOTELY/#TELECOMMUTING? #prodchat
  36. @rsidneysmith A3: Always have a backup (i.e. tether to phone if needed). #ProdChat
  37. @rsidneysmith A3: Also, I try to not commit to work unless I know I’ll have reliable connectivity #ProdChat
  38. A3 I try to gang work together & push it online when I have a connection. There’s always a Starbucks on the next corner in NYC… ;) #ProdChat
  39. A3: I’m on the road so often in small-town America. It’s sometimes difficult! But, as @EBPhD, my phone as backup. #prodchat
  40. A3b: I also use Skype WiFi so I can connect to multiple possible WiFi nodes when I’m on the road. #prodchat
  41. @rsidneysmith A3: Yes, also if I am uncertain of connectivity, I try to get as much on my laptop as possible, so can work without #ProdChat
  42. A3 But I also gave in and added tethering to my mobile plan so I will (almost) always have online access if I need it. It’s handy #ProdChat
  43. A3c: At my home office, I have two Internet connections via two different services…just in case. #prodchat
  44. @EBPhD Yes! Getting everything you can offline and then working is a great #productivity tipe when #telecommuting! #prodchat
  45. If I’m being realistic, there’s a lot of work I can do without an internet connection. Sometimes more effectively, too :) #prodchat
  46. A3 I actually like going somewhere without internet connectivity to get some focus time. Can’t Facebook without internet! ;) #ProdChat
  47. @nmhouston Ugh! I am remisce to agree with you on this, but yes, if I disconnet sometimes it’s soooo productive! :-P #prodchat
  48. Cause that’s how we roll on #ProdChat! ;) RT @IsaPinaud: @nmhouston Exactly what I was about to say #prodchat
  49. Cause that’s how we roll on #ProdChat! ;) RT @IsaPinaud: @nmhouston Exactly what I was about to say #prodchat
  50. I also look for Web apps that allow me to work in offline mode and then syncs the data once I’m back online. #prodchat
  51. OK, I’ll tell a funny story, in that case. So the open plan office I mentioned… when I started there, we had tight offices. #ProdChat
  52. What do you think about doing everything you need/can do on the internet and then shutting it off until you NEED it again? #prodchat
  53. So to keep the noise level down, we all used iChat instead of yelling to one another. It was a whole new experience for me. #ProdChat
  54. @michgunn @rsidneysmith He’s emptying his inbox and can’t ignore the 2min rule :P #prodchat
  55. MT @IsaPinaud What…about doing everything you need/can do on the internet and then shutting it off until you NEED it again? #prodchat
  56. I had to laugh when my co-worker IM’d me to ask me a question, and I turned my head and answered. He sat three feet from me. #ProdChat
  57. @IsaPinaud If your work comes that way, I say go for it! My work tends to be research then production oriented so it’d work. #prodchat
  58. It was just hysterical. But a great use of the technology to make the open office plan even remotely doable. #ProdChat
  59. Exactly! RT @nmhouston @IsaPinaud well, in the olden days with dial up modems that’s what we did. #speakingasadinosaur #prodchat
  60. I restrict my internet use with pomodoro.. since I work 45m and rest 15m, I give myself 15m of wifi and can’t just waste them #prodchat
  61. @rsidneysmith A4: I try to have certain areas at home that I work, for ex: laptop = work; desktop = personal #ProdChat
  62. A4: When I used to telecommute when a family member worked from home, I used to put up a sign that I was working. #prodchat
  63. LIKE IT! MT @IsaPinaud: What do you think about … shutting the internet off until you NEED it again? #prodchat
  64. @michgunn I’d find text message so much less distracting than verbal chatter around me. #prodchat
  65. Ha! RT @IsaPinaud: @michgunn @rsidneysmith He’s emptying his inbox and can’t ignore the 2min rule :P #prodchat
  66. Ha! RT @IsaPinaud: @michgunn @rsidneysmith He’s emptying his inbox and can’t ignore the 2min rule :P #prodchat
  67. A4a: I also kept office hours and left for lunch so that it felt just like when I was at the office. #prodchat
  68. A4a: I also kept office hours and left for lunch so that it felt just like when I was at the office. #prodchat
  69. +1 RT @EBPhDA4: I try to have certain areas at home that I work, for ex: laptop = work; desktop = personal #ProdChat
  70. Right? Remember that? :) RT @nmhouston: well, in the olden days with dial up modems that’s what we did. #speakingasadinosaur #prodchat
  71. great plan! MT @IsaPinaud: I restrict my internet use with pomodoro.. I give myself 15m of wifi and can’t just waste them #prodchat
  72. A4 I realised that sometimes you don’t need a break, just to look at something different so… #prodchat
  73. We will be discussing “The Power of Intuition” on 12/21 for #Productivity Book Group! Join us! |  http://ow.ly/rGtDR  #prodchat
  74. A4b …using pomodoro I work for 45min and then might do personal stuff for 15 :) I use pomodoro in a million different ways #prodchat
  75. A4b: I warn my staff the day before I’m going to telecommute (which means I’m going to communicate OFTEN with them). #prodchat
  76. @nmhouston I have to agree, I get a LOT of work done on planes…with no Internet connectivity. #ProdChat
  77. @nmhouston I have to agree, I get a LOT of work done on planes…with no Internet connectivity. #ProdChat
  78. Like @EBPhD, I separate work/personal with devices/physical spaces. Also different email accounts. #prodchat
  79. @IsaPinaud Shifting gears for a bit is a great tactic for not only staying productive but also lessening #procrastination! #prodchat
  80. @bschorr Welcome to #prodchat, Ben! Good to see you again! Hope all is well with you!
  81. Yes, absolutely! Just SOOOOO odd when you aren’t used to the guy sitting next to you, whom you reach out & touch, IM’ing. Ha! #prodchat
  82. RT @rsidneysmith: A3c: At my home office, I have two Internet connections via two different services…just in case. #prodchat < Me too.
  83. I have been following @apinaud‘s advice: different (6 actually) Web browsers recently for different projects and personal life. #prodchat
  84. @IsaPinaud I have my work documents sync’d via  http://Box.com , sometimes I accidently work on personal computer #ProdChat #oops
  85. Whether it’s train or plane, those times without Internet are my most productive reading times. :) #prodchat
  86. @nmhouston I’ve tried having two email accounts… and always either give out the wrong one or stop checking on of them… :( #prodchat
  87. @rsidneysmith A4: That’s definitely a challenge. My dog tends to come demand attention when I’m working at home. #ProdChat
  88. A4 My problem is the opposite. Never taking care of the personal stuff because I’m busy doing work. #RecoveringWorkaholic #ProdChat
  89. @bschorr I put my cat in the bedroom for that same reason with treats, his toys (laser light show system!) and all. #prodchat
  90. @bschorr my tennis-ball obsessed dog always helps to remind me to take a quick break for body & mind. #prodchat
  91. A5 using FOCUS in of, project notebooks in en, having most stuff offline, and music #prodchat
  92. A5 I try to have clear agenda of tasks at hand. Plus all the supporting resources that I’ll need on hand (usually digitized). #ProdChat
  93. RT @nmhouston @bschorr my tennis-ball obsessed dog always helps to remind me to take a quick break for body &amp; mind. #prodchat
  94. @nmhouston When the plane lands I always have about 50 emails queued in the Outbox to send. :) My staff hates it when I fly. #prodchat
  95. A5 On horrible days where I can’t concentrate I print things out and force myself to work by hand… concentration is huge #prodchat
  96. .@IsaPinaud Music! Yes. The right music for the mood works wonders for my focus too! #ProdChat
  97. A5b plus, apart from concentration, forcing myself to do this means next time I’ll concentrate more just to avoid #extrawork #prodchat
  98. A5 different kinds of work at different furniture: standing desk for writing, worktable for mindmap/drawing, armchair for reading #prodchat
  99. A5: Mornings are so important to do my productivity rituals (outline goals, who must I contact, meetings) when #telecommuting. #prodchat
  100. @michgunn I’ve been loving the Concierge feature of @songza when working lately. cc @IsaPinaud #prodchat
  101. @rsidneysmith A5 – If working with a colleague, sometimes we’ll meet together or have G+ Hangouts to ensure we’re on track #ProdChat
  102. @IsaPinaud I use Pomodoro quite a bit too, though usually at shorter intervals than 45m. I work better in smaller bites. #prodchat
  103. me too! MT @IsaPinaud: A5 On days where I can’t concentrate I print things out and force myself to work by hand… #prodchat
  104. @IsaPinaud yes shifting from digital to hand writing makes a big difference sometimes! Neurologically is totally different. #prodchat
  105. @bschorr I didn’t like the 5m breaks … too short haha so I extended it to 45/15 which is an exact hour ;) #OCD #prodchat
  106. @EBPhD That’s great! I cowork with staff on occasion myself so that I just have someone working in real time with me. #prodchat
  107. Probably worth pointing out that Microsoft Outlook has a “Work Offline” mode that lets you compose and sync later. #prodchat
  108. Probably worth pointing out that Microsoft Outlook has a “Work Offline” mode that lets you compose and sync later. #prodchat
  109. Probably worth pointing out that Microsoft Outlook has a “Work Offline” mode that lets you compose and sync later. #prodchat
  110. @michgunn The way it knows exactly the kind of music that you’ll enjoy at specific times of day is ingenius. #prodchat
  111. RT @bschorr Probably worth pointing out that Microsoft Outlook has a “Work Offline” mode that lets you compose and sync later. #prodchat
  112. Yes, that’s a great feature, @bschorr! It’s helped me out many times. :) #ProdChat
  113. also part of my work at home productivity: my workout room is just a few steps down the hall. #prodchat
  114. Q6: SO, WHAT OTHER FACTORS ARE INVOLVED IN #TELECOMMUTING #PRODUCTIVITY? ASK AND WE’LL DISCUSS! #prodchat
  115. RT @nmhouston also part of my work at home productivity: my workout room is just a few steps down the hall. #prodchat
  116. @nmhouston Yes, when I work from home, I go to the gym midday myself…it really is different than my morning routine on the road. #prodchat
  117. Well, a point is that if you manage telecommuters, as I teach in my #smallbiz workshops, have a telecommuting policy! #prodchat
  118. A6 Hmmm… getting your boss’ approval if it’s not already a part of your company’s culture? Maybe, how would people go about that? #ProdChat
  119. One question I have: I’m seeing more and more business not have offices at all…this makes #telecommuting required. Thoughts? #prodchat
  120. @michgunn There are really great resources, studies to show employers the benefits of #telecommuting. #prodchat
  121. I think you have to establish a schedule for tracking progress #prodchat
  122. I kind of like the no office company idea. Puts the focus on the work, not the time clock being punched. Happier productive peeps! #prodchat
  123. A6 Employees should discuss expectations with their employers… communication can be lost in #telecommuting #prodchat
  124. +10 RT @IsaPinaud A6 Employees should discuss expectations with their employers… communication can be lost in #telecommuting #prodchat
  125. @michgunn That might work for some, but others would really struggle. It’s a huge paradigm shift. #prodchat
  126. A6 This wouldn’t happen in Venezuela… but what about time zone differences and peers failing to recognise them? #prodchat
  127. @rsidneysmith Sure, but if you build your business that way, then you hire accordingly… just a thought #ProdChat
  128. @rsidneysmith Sure, but if you build your business that way, then you hire accordingly… just a thought #ProdChat
  129. @EBPhD @rsidneysmith Don’t feel bad… It’s just because I am @apinaud ‘s little sister :P #prodchat
  130. THE WORST ISSUE OF THEM ALL has to be the HORRIBLE MUSIC played while being on hold… haha ;) #prodchat
  131. @rsidneysmith And/or, if switching to it, you weed out those that can’t work in that structure. #prodchat
  132. @michgunn Absolutely! If you look for only people who work well without a physical office, that could work well! #prodchat
  133. Thanks #productivity enthusiasts for today’s #ProdChat! Join us again next week! Check out the transcript tomorrow!
  134. Good night, everyone! Catch ya next week for #ProdChat! Have a great week! :)
  135. @rsidneysmith Did you notice? Some radio should buy the rights to hold music and play good songs or something like that :P #prodchat
  136. @IsaPinaud I usually set it to either 15 or 20 and do multiple per hour. #prodchat
  137. @IsaPinaud That would be a great idea! You should definitely sell that idea to radio stations! :-) #prodchat
  138. @bschorr I could try that out when my attention span is pretty low… thanks :) #prodchat
  139. If it’s the intention of the company to be office-less, then it has to build its team around it. Or get an office! #Prodchat
  140. @michgunn awesome, I missed yet another #Prodchat … though not to when you commute at that time

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