Telecommuting & Disgruntled Co-Workers

Good Afternoon…here’s an informative (quick reading) blog post on telecommuting: “Telecommuting: How to Approach Your Boss.” 

A few words re my two cents worth on this subject….it’s been my experience that it’s often more difficult dealing with disgruntled co-workers who are NOT telecommuting than it is to convince your employer to let you at least give telecommuting a fair trial run (i.e. If it’s just not working for whatever reasons after perhaps six months, then so be it and you return to your office). 

But what can be the REAL frustration in transitioning to a telecommuting relationship with your employer are those co-workers who are:

  • (a) jealous;
  • (b) always looking for new “stuff” to stir up trouble in the office:
  • (c) don’t trust that your are REALLY working at home (often because they wouldn’t be if the situation were reversed!):
  • (d) busy bodies since birth; or
  • (e) don’t trust leadership to be making good decisions

Of course, there are other reasons co-employees may not like the situation, but if they were helpful, friendly and courteous to you prior to your telecommuting and then attitudes shift south…wellllll, my bet would be it’s directly linked to your new situation. Now keep in mind I am talking about the disgruntled co-worker who is that way in spite of the successful, productive and economically-wise use of telecommuters. I am not talking about co-workers who have legitimate reasons for disliking the acts of a telecommuter who is abusing the situation.

Soooo…how do telecommuters minimize the chances of alienation from in-office co-workers?  First, pre-telecommuting preventive steps are always better than having to fix and repair relationships later.  

Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

  • Ask your employer how your co-workers will be notified of the change….by your supervisor or should you do it?…;
  • Next, once the word is out, I’d discuss (sooner rather than later) the anticipated changes that will occur with fellow employees ….ask them:
    • what, if any, concerns they may have about your telecommuting,;
    • what you can do to ensure your telecommuting is not a burden on them in any way;
    • would they be agreeable to scheduling regular lunches together to help keep all the advantages of in-person communications alive and well?….; and
    • make sure you initiate similar conversations down the road as well….someone that may have seemed OK with your telecommuting at the onset may have decided they don’t like it now for an assortment of reasons…the telecommuter should ensure these types of healthy, “how is this working for you” types of discussions occur along with frequent in-person meetings.

The above lists are by no means all-inclusive, but just some of my on-the-fly thoughts about telecommuting opportunities…..I for one am all for them IF structured, monitored and lived in a manner that’s truly good for the whole team.  And, even in spite of the best efforts by a telecommuter, there are always some folks that we just can’t and aren’t going to please no matter what.  Give it a try with them because miracles do happen daily, but don’t take it personally if they are just determined to whine about it (or at least until they have new material to gripe over)!

That’s it for today…it’s hump day and another weekend looms ahead…check out my posts are exploring the treasures in our own backyards and on ensuring we make time for those special things in our lives in the midst of our all-to0-short weekend moments.

Thanks for visiting my blog and I leave you for now with smiles from me and one of our miniature donkeys (Miz Star),


Smiles from Our Burro, Miz Star

Smiles from Our Burro, Miz Star

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Nancy has helped countless clients move steadily and successfully toward their professional and personal goals. More importantly, she helps them find customized solutions that have successful and lasting results. When it’s time to make some changes, you will be glad your team has Nancy on it with her extensive and diverse experience, resourcefulness, empathy and non-judgmental approach.

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Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones is enthusiastically resourceful and tirelessly dedicated to helping her clients build success stories that last...and as a family law and workplace mediator, she is a passionate advocate for helping keep folks out of the courtroom and moving positively forward with their lives. And, oh yes, she also loves every minute at her family's mountainside ranch - the happy and always active home of 5 horses, 9 donkeys, 3 dogs and 1 very tough cat! She writes about the critters at Southern Fried Blog

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