Social Media Fanfare Winners Share Telework Tips
For many, social media has changed the way they interact with friends, family, and yes, even co-workers. As part of Telework Week 2012, Telework Exchange launched a Social Media Fanfare contest, to identify “the ultimate telework fan.”
After sorting through hundreds of tweets,” likes,” posts, and tips on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare – three fans were selected as those most active on the Telework Week social media platforms. Read about their telework experiences and why these telework fans are helping to evolve the way we all communicate – wherever we are located. Congratulations to our Telework Week 2012 Ultimate Fans.
Jessan Dunn Otis
Teleworking isn’t anything new to our first Telework Week Ultimate Fan, Jessan Dunn Otis. A teleworker since May 1996, Jessan finds she can accomplish more when working from home. Not only is she more productive, but telework allows her to spend more time with family and friends while managing her work schedule.
An independent writer and editor based in the Providence, Rhode Island area, Jessan reports that telework helps her be more accessible to her international clients – as she can spend more time working and less time commuting. “[I have] a very short commute (approximately 12-14 steps),” she says. Her home office includes desktop and laptop computers and voice-over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone services to help her stay connected.
Jessan knows work/life balance is key when teleworking. She takes breaks from her work schedule to go for a walk with her dog, sit in the sun, run errands, and have lunch with her husband. “Celebrating 2nd day of #TeleworkWeek by going 4 a well-earned walk. Enough ‘time on task’ 4 now. Join me? #PVD #RI pic.twitter.com/w6rgzYtf,” she tweeted during Telework Week.
But for this full-time teleworker, Telework Week 2012 is not a once-in-a-while thing. “Alas (for some), #TeleworkWeek comes to an end today. For those of us who’ve been teleworking a long time ... dance on! Cheers!” she tweeted.
Our second Telework Week Ultimate Fan is Nicole Neff. A research psychologist with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), Nicole was active on Telework Week’s Facebook and Foursquare pages.
Although most DoDEA employees are educators and must be physically present at their jobs, the agency is making strides in allowing some support staff to telework. During Telework Week, DoDEA allowed everyone in Nicole’s department to telework an extra day more than they normally do.
Noting she is a very social person, Nicole uses collaboration tools like her agency’s instant messaging and social media platforms to stay connected with co-workers. “My tip is to make sure to schedule phone meetings during the day if you are social like me. A day without talking to anyone leaves me lonely, so I use our Instant Messenger gratuitously,” Nicole posted on the Telework Week Foursquare page.
Nicole says teleworking allows her to really “get in the zone” and cut out distractions while working. Not only that, but by teleworking she gains back two hours every day – time she would normally be stuck in traffic commuting to and from the office.
But her favorite part of teleworking? Getting to spend some quality time with her “office mate” – her Icelandic sheepdog Buska. “When I telework I always get to take Buska out for a jog in the morning and also a quick walk over lunch. If it’s nice out, I also can work outside and get some fresh air. We have a screened-in porch overlooking the backyard, with a table and power outlets so I can set up my laptop out there.”
A long-time telework champion, Monica Babine rounds out our top three fans. Monica is employed by Washington State University and is a full-time teleworker. By teleworking, Monica avoids a 90-minute daily commute to Seattle, WA. On occasion, Monica also works from the road – during a recent business trip to rural Freeland, Washington, she found a coffee bar where she could plug in and work away. The bonus? “Blazing-fast Wi-Fi and really great local coffee,” she says.
When she is working from home, Monica takes advantage of enabling technology, including her laptop, Virtual Private Network (VPN), fiber connection, smart phone, and selected collaboration tools. In fact, she had a chance to use many of these technologies during Telework Week when she presented at the BetterWorld Telecom Future of Work Forum, held in San Francisco with panelists joining via video from six other locations.
With unpredictable winter weather in Washington State this year, Monica found teleworking helped her get work done despite the inclement conditions outside, illustrating the power of telework to enable business continuity. “Snow and ice, good thing it’s #TeleworkWeek. Work @ home and be safe and productive,”she tweeted. That’s not the only benefit – with telework she found time to do other things she might not have been able to otherwise, like preparing a romantic dinner for her husband in the middle of the week – just another unanticipated collateral telework benefit.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Social Media Fanfare.
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