A Fake Proposal   Leave a comment

A Fake Proposal

Letter of Transmittal

Schuyler McCurdy

Kaplan University Student

**** Centenary Drive

Camby Indiana 46113

Attention: *********

****************

**************

Camby Indiana 46113

Dear Mrs. ***:

Herein is a proposal for a rape prevention program for the ******** Crossing Area. The rape risk in *******Crossing is higher than average, and due to the family orientation of the community it is important that there is a program that provides resources for victims and that attempts to curb the problem.

********Crossing is a family community and is a large part of the Camby area, where the rape risk is higher. Not two miles from here a schoolteacher was raped over the Christmas season while early morning jogging, and this raises concern about the proper safety precautions people are taking. A workshop with a speaker, followed by weekly canvassing, are two tools we can use in order to raise sexual assault awareness. These tools will be pillars in this program. A program such as the one proposed would be beneficial in educating the community on safety precautions and creating an educated community who can be a support system for victims. The price is minimal while the majority of the support for this program will be concerned residents.

A few community members have already offered their assistance and are excited about seeing such a program in the community. I am also excited to be a part of this program. No one wants to see the community become a place where the scourge of rape is ignored. Finally, this project, if enacted, will bring community members together towards a common purpose of creating a safe and caring community.

If there are any question about this proposal or the program, do not hesitate to contact me at 317-****-8*60 or through e-mail at schuyler_ryan@live.com.

Sincerely,

Schuyler McCurdy

 


 

Executive Summary

Rape is an international crisis. Women and men are affected all over the world, this country, and even in our own community. According to CLR search, a home review service for homebuyers, the rape risk in Camby Indiana is 46% higher than the average (CLR Search, 2010). In order to ensure a safe community for all its members it is proposed that a rape prevention program be started for the *******Crossing Community.  There are several organizations that work to help victims and make communities safer. Some are on the local and state levels while other work on the national level. One organization in particular is known as the Rape Assistance and Awareness program that uses what is known as a canvass program where volunteers go door to door during the week educating neighbors about sexual assault while soliciting support (Rape Assistance and Awareness Program, 2011). The program proposed will not be soliciting monetary support but will involve three steps, gathering support from the community and inviting them to a workshop, holding a workshop with a guest speaker, and finally a group of volunteers to perform community canvasses once a week.

Initially, there will need to be a workshop that informs and mobilizes community members about sexual assault in order to get canvass program volunteers. The workshop will include a guest speaker from the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault and activities that engage community members for the canvass program. The cost and material needed for this program include the use of the community center, $229 for the flyers, and $100 for materials for activities at the workshop.  The canvass program will be fully volunteer supported and will seek only to engage members of the community in sexual assault prevention and awareness.

Programs such as the one proposed have changed communities for the better from the RAAP program in Colorado that started the Canvass program to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest Network that provides national hotlines for those affected by sexual assault. While the proposal herein is not as in depth as the ones mentioned, this program will connect the community to these programs and local ones like the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault, who provide support to communities who want to deal with the problem of sexual assault and rape. Furthermore, this program will create the opportunity for community members to make this a safe place to live, and will work ensuring their own investment in the community is not wasted but provides a home for them and their families for years to come.

Introduction

It is proposed that *******Crossing implement a Sexual Assault and Prevention Program. The need and plan for such a program are explained herein.  That sexual assault is an international problem is common knowledge, even though the world has made great strides in de-stigmatizing the victims, bringing perpetrators to justice, and curbing the problem.  Nevertheless, sexual assault is an acquaintance crime in that most of the victims knew their attackers and hence are less likely to report it, which makes this a problem that needs a different solution from property crimes, which the neighborhood watch has helped to bring down. According to the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault Rape Brochure (2011), “Over 70% of victims know the rapist” and “less than 1/3 of all rapes and sexual assaults are reported”.  This requires the community to do more than just watch each other’s back, but due to sexual assaults subtle nature, prevention will require a community that is educated in providing victim resources, being an open and caring community, and understanding the sensitive nature of a sexual assault victim. This program has three levels; making the community aware of the problem and inviting them to an educational workshop through flyers, holding a workshop that will educate the community about sexual assault, and community canvassing in order to educate and mobilize less active community members in the rape prevention process.

Need

Rape is a problem that affects the victim, the family, and the community. It causes lifelong trauma for the victims, strain on family’s relationships, and communities become places where people do not desire to live when the problem is ignored and not dealt with.  According to CLR search, a community review website for prospective homebuyers, Camby, Indiana has a rape risk that is 43% higher than the average (CLR Search, 2010). This is not good for *******Crossing’s image.  To break the problem down in national statistics, 1 out of 6 women in this country at one time has been a victim of rape or attempted rape (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, 2011).  With the high chances for rape being present anywhere and the higher than average risk in Camby, Indiana it is  important that some kind of program be enacted in the community to decrease the chances of rape, and create a community that can be there for the victims. Below is a description of the crime rate in Camby:

Figure 1. Crime indexes. Note. From CLR search. Retrieved from http://www.clrsearch.com/Camby_Demographics/IN46113/Crime-Rate

 

 

Project Description

This project will include three levels, each one building to the last. The first level of the program will be to create informational brochures or flyers for the community that provides resources for victims and concerned members of the community. The second level will involve a workshop where the community can educate themselves in sexual assault awareness and prevention. Third and last, interested community members will be invited to take part in a weekly community canvass. This project is modeled after a program of the same name in Denver, Colorado where concerned members of the community go through the neighborhood offering education and resources about sexual assault awareness and prevention.

Brochures

The first step will be key in creating interest in the program. These flyers need to be a page long and include phone numbers to national and local crisis hotlines. Along with this, the flyer will include information about the higher than average rape risk in Camby, Indiana and the risks nationally. These flyers are not meant to scare the community, but allow them to make informed decisions. Another use for these flyers will be to invite community members to a sexual assault awareness and prevention workshop.

Workshop

            A rape awareness workshop will be a great first step in curbing the problem in the community.  It creates an environment where a large group of people who live and work close to one another can become informed and engaged. A workshop will be a place to inform, inspire, and charge people to step up. This workshop will include a guest speaker and activities that have been used by other programs that get people thinking about sexual assault and what they can do about.

 Guest Speaker

The guest speaker will be provided by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The INCASA is a state organization that provides resources for communities, professionals, and victims (INCASA, 2010).  This program has offered to provide a speaker to help create interest and provide education assistance. The speaker is dependent on the community’s probable involvement and participation.  It is advised that the workshop include a sign-up sheet in order to show interest to the INCASA.

 Activities

Planned activities for the workshop will be taken from the Men Stopping Rape Program. These activities include sentence completion, where attendees read short incomplete sentences that get conversations going about false opinions and beliefs that can either encourage or discourage rape risk; the appropriate game, which involves note cards that have an action that participants can vocalize if they believe the action is appropriate or not; and finally role playing, which will supplement the appropriate game in getting people to think about what is and is not appropriate (Dave Kosson, 2005).

Concluding the Workshop

To conclude the workshop, the community will be encouraged to take a look at the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network Website, along with an invitation to sign up for  community canvassing. Many of the community members may feel unsure about going door to door and educating their neighbors about sexual assault, but community members can do something as simple as pass on a website, or something as involved as speak for a few minutes about sexual assault. This activity takes the mission beyond just a flyer that someone may or may not keep, but ensures the community realizes that this is a problem and there are resources to stop it.

Community Canvass

 The Community Canvass will meet initially on September 4, 2011 at the community park where a speech will be given to thank the members of the community for coming and to inform them of what they will be sharing with their neighbors.  This sharing includes that the risk in Camby for rape is higher, but that it is also too high nationally, and that resources exists for community members to take advantage of. Resources shared will include the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault website, national and local crisis hotlines, and the weekly meetings where interested community members will continue to meet.

Weekly Meetings

The weekly meetings will take part on the interested members own time and at different members houses. This will be a time where devoted members can discuss and plan for their next steps in making *******Crossing a safer community. This part of the project will not need any help from the Homeowners Association, but from time to time may submit additional proposals for projects and resource sharing.

Below is a project schedule:

Task Dates
Obtain pamphlets and materials for workshop August 11, 2011
Collect signature of support for Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault Aug 12, 2011
Distribute Flyers Aug 15-19, 2011
Present Workshop Aug 27-28, 2011
Initial Community Canvass September 4, 2011

 

Budget

The budget for this program is minimal. The only aspect that will cost money is the flyers and the materials needed for the workshop, totaling 329.95. According to the Staples website 500 flyer copies can be made at $45.99 per 100. This equals out to 229.95. The last 100 dollars will be used for note cards and pencils for the workshop. It is also proposed that the community center be utilized for the initial workshop. More workshops are desired but these will be held at resident’s homes. The real resources for this project will be the volunteers from the community who take part in the workshop and the community canvass. A speaker from the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault has been offered, but it is tentative on the community showing desire for the speaker to show up. To provide evidence of this desire it is planned for a few volunteers to go around the neighborhood and obtain signatures of those promising to come to the workshop. Below is a table of needed resources:

Items Price
Flyers $229.50
Materials for the workshop, note cards, paper, pencils $100
Use of Community Center
Volunteers

Benefits

            The benefits of this project include that, it is community and professional based, and not just a program ran by the state, and that it is a program focused on education as key to prevention. According to Nicole P.Yuan from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (2006) programs that are community based are more responsive to the needs of that community. While State and County programs exist, the *******Crossing Community is suffering from a disproportionate rape risk compared to neighboring communities. Furthermore, education programs have affected a change in the behavior of men that are exposed to rape awareness programs (Foubert,J & Cowell,C.A, 2004). While programs such as the neighborhood watch exist and are effective against property crime, violent crimes often happen in the home or secluded settings, not to mention the shame that keeps victims quite, and so being able to change people through education is one of the most effective means of prevention. Finally, in consequence of having an active rape prevention program along with the neighborhood watch, the community will benefit from attracting thoughtful homebuyers who will help care for and grow the community. Not so if the community seems apathetic to its own problems. An effect of ignoring this problem includes the increasing crime in the area, crime in the area becoming public knowledge, and consequently, decreasing home values.

Biographies

Schuyler McCurdy (Project Leader): Schuyler McCurdy has researched the problem of Sexual Assault for this area for the past 9 weeks. He has also been actively involved in researching and planning solutions. He has been in contact with state organizations researching resources and community members gathering support.

**********: A local resident who has been made aware of this problem and desires to volunteer for handing out flyers and aiding in organizing a workshop.

*********: Another resident in the community who wants to hold meetings in her house for the weekly rape prevention program.

Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault: A state program here in Indiana who is excited that community wants to take part in stopping rape. The organization has offered to provide a speaker for the workshop and tentative continued support.  They have been active in stopping rape in Indiana since 1986 and they exist by their own admission to provide support to all levels of the community in stopping rape.

 

Conclusion

            In conclusion a rape prevention and awareness program is necessary for this community. With a higher than averages risk in the community, it behooves the Homeowners Association President to provide assistance in implementing this program. Programs such as proposed have helped communities heal and brought them together. The desire is here in the community as can be seen by the many programs members take part of already, and the cost is minimal compared to the benefits. In addition, education has been shown to be one of the most effective means for prevention, and the proposed program provides informational resources while also providing the resources for the community members to educate themselves. This project will reinvigorate community pride and provide a place where community members feel safe. If this program will stop one person from getting raped it will have served its purpose. Finally, this is a project based on techniques that have worked for other communities, and it will work for this one.

References

CLR. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.clrsearch.com/Camby_Demographics/IN/46113/            Crime-Rate

Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault. (2011). Rape. Retrieved from http://www.incasa.org/PDF/brochures/Rape_Brochure.pdf

Foubert, J.D. and Cowell, E.A. (2004). Perceptions of rape prevention program by fraternity men and male student athletes. Jounal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 42(1). Retrieved from http://journals.naspa.org/jsarp/vol42/iss1/art1/

Kosson, D. (2005, Nov) Men stopping rape exercises. Conflict Management in Higher Education Report. 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.campus-  adr.org/cmher/reportresources/Edition6_1/ stopping_rape.html

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. (2009). Who are the victims. Retrieved from http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims

Yuan, P. (2006). Community research collaborations in rape prevention. Retrieved from http://azrapeprevention.org/sites/azrapeprevention.org/files/2006_02_COPH.pdf

Working Annotated Bibliography

Who are the victims. (n.d).Retrieved from http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual- assault-victims

This webpage provides statistics for sexual assault cases, a breakdown of the victim demographics, and the results of being a sexual assault victim. This page originates from a national rape prevention and awareness website and appears very reliable. The page also provides references for all of the statistics used. This page is very pertinent for my project because it contains information that will send home the seriousness of sexual assault. It also contains statistics that shows how likely any woman is to be sexually assaulted.

Acquaintance rape prevention. (2004). Retrieved from http://www.helpandhealing.org/             PreventionAcquaintanceRape.htm

This page offers several tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of sexual assault by an acquaintance. Furthermore, it offers common sense advice on dating, advance planning, and communicating all in order to avoid rape. This website is offered by the Butler Rape Crisis Center in Ohio and offers tips and statistics that overlap with my other research. This and the fact it comes from a county program tell me it is reliable. This information can be very easily integrated into the proposed project as a source of helpful advice and more statistics. The information can also aid me in presenting information on why rape happens.

Peer education workshops. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.gsanetwork.org/        files/resources/PeerEd.pdf

This website provides information about setting up a peer education workshop. It includes activities and tips for any kind of workshop that has been used by an effective organization.  This organization behind this resource boasts creating over 850 school clubs and winning several lawsuits for gay rights. The information is pertinent for my proposal in that it can be used to present effective workshop leading techniques. Information from this article will be used to present what has worked in the past for an effective workshop.

Sexual violence and prevention education program. (2011). Retrieved from http://             azrapeprevention.org/sites/azrapeprevention.org/files/State_Plan_2011.pdf

This is a PDF file from the Arizona Department of Health for an educational presentation. It contain information on sexual assault in general, multipronged approaches to prevention, and information about why statistics may vary. This information is provided by a state organization  which demands by its nature credibility. It also overlaps with much of my research and is very current. The information on this page will be used for background information on what states have done to curb sexual assault. The information is also useful for communicating why statistics vary.

Kosson, D. (2005, Nov) Men stopping rape exercises. Conflict Management in Higher Education Report. 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.campus-  adr.org/cmher/reportresources/Edition6_1/ stopping_rape.html

This article contains several exercises in order to get workshop participants communicating about rape and sexual assault. Theses exercise include games, confidential thought sharing, and themed discussions. This information originally comes from Wayne State University and has been used in workshops dealing with rape prevention before. This list is a compilation that was used in a Syracuse training program. These exercises can be presented along with the exercises I found on the gay straight alliance network in order to communicate what has been used in other places to curb sexual assault. These exercises will also be used as part of the proposed project.

Posted August 25, 2011 by schuylerryan in Proposal

Communicating for Gen Y   Leave a comment

Gen Y: The Face-to-Face Problem  

Schuyler McCurdy

Currently many people are losing their ability to communicate effectively. My generation, people less than 29 years old or Gen Y, is the most affected. The medium of virtual communication is causing the youth who have grown up with it to become skilled with technology, but less skilled with face-to-face interactions. The skills to communicate effectively, face-to-face, are hence a learning imperative, especially for those in my generation (Lebo, 2009). If these skills are not learned, we may end up with a generation that has trouble building relationships. Generation Y is going to have to learn to communicate to confirm the climate; what will help to do this is to learn to understand nonverbal messages, monitor one’s own nonverbal communication, and self-disclose personal information to build relationships.  

Creating a confirming climate is hard to do when communicators do not validate others. When working in groups with people from different age groups supervisors have always cited “the problem” with younger people. They are lazy, talkative, or disrespectful. While the complaints of supervisors and people who are your senior may seem to be just some griping that comes with old age there may be substance to what they are saying. Many people complain that Gen Y employees are generally uncommunicative (Baurelin, 2009).  Specifically people are talking about Gen Y’s trouble with face-to-face interactions. Executives also criticize Gen Y’s face-to-face skills (Lebo, 2010). When people are not looked at when they are speaking, it makes them feel as if they are not being regarded as important (Wood, 2010).  It is important to adapt to the communication style of those you work with because if you do not it can cause communication barriers between co-workers and supervisors with you. The type of communication climate you create is going to determine the satisfaction you have with your job (Wood, 2010). Therefore, it is important that you understand the factors that affect your relationships with your co-workers. People will judge you based on your age, looks, and numerous other factors. More importantly though is when you create relationships with others you need to invest yourself, commit to the relationship, be trusted, and find some comfort in the tensions in the relationship (Wood, 2010). 

You work with others and you give your time, ideas that will hopefully improve the company, and energy into finishing tasks. All of these things are investments that you make into others. You can never get these things back, but you do benefit from the relationships you are building. Your supervisor will realize you are there to work, your colleagues will respect you for doing your fair share, and you will find satisfaction from a job well done.  Commitment can be shown by coming to work every day, not bailing out when things get stressful, and making an effort to adapt to the communication styles of others. Commitment will show others that you are dependable and are willing to make continued investments (Wood, 2010). Trust is already being built up by your investments and commitment. When others see you are reliable and making a commitment, they will begin to trust you more. Another way to increase trust is self-disclosure, which will be discussed at the end. The last factor is finding comfort in the tensions in the relationship. The fancy names for these tensions are relational dialectics. These are normal in relationships, but we do not always label them as so (Wood, 2010). Going into a new workplace communicators have to understand that some prefer closeness while other want space, some want the familiarity and others want novelty, and lastly some like to share much about themselves while others are more private (Wood, 2010).   When I worked at McDonalds, I always wondered why I could not get ahead. The reason was that I did not look my supervisor in the eye, I did not speak with others, and I was constantly frustrated about how others wanted to share so much and not follow the procedures. The supervisor really questioned my people skills. In contrast, respecting others communication style, their work style, and validating them will encourage positive relations (Wood, 2010). Not all people have the same preference for how they want to communicate. Figuring out the communication styles of others means learning to read their nonverbal messages and emotions.

Gen Y is knowledgeable in reading emoticons to interpret nonverbal messages, but reading faces is going to take practice. Reading nonverbal messages comes from acculturation and not education (Baurelin, 2009). Those who have not been out of the house in a while should go out and practice reading these silent messages. Reading others nonverbal messages is a great way to see how others feel about the relationship between the two of you. The emotions of others can give information that can make interactions more manageable (Ward & Schwartzman, 2009, p366). Most of the time people will not immediately express what they are feeling, but nonverbal messages can give information about what they are not expressing with their words. Reading nonverbal messages is going to take giving the person some face time and this is already one step towards validating them.  A bringing together of the eyebrows may indicate anger, a smile can indicate satisfaction, or a glazing of the eyes can mean you lost the person. A communicator must look at the other person to get these messages. Other nonverbal messages will come through speech though.  Volume, pitch, and inflection are all nonverbal cues that come out in speech that can help decide what the other person is really thinking (Wood, 2010). If a colleague comes to you and you do not look at them, if he or she feels you are not listening he or she may speak louder, breath out loudly in exasperation, or trail off. When I am talking with my boyfriend, I may not look directly at him and he will begin to trail off and not even finish what he is saying. I know from this he realizes I am not being mindful about what he is saying. The same concept is involved in a job. The boss will come in and has a special project for you, but because you are writing in your I-phone, he begins to trail off. You might ask a colleague what he said and he would not know because he was doing something else. The next thing you know somebody else got the project and a big bonus. When someone is trailing off it is a good thing to start looking at him or her and making sure he or she knows you are listening. Working on your own nonverbal communication can help you communicate your attentiveness and help adapting to others styles of communication.

Monitoring the nonverbal messages you send and how others react to them will help you improve on the communication climate. People are different on whether they want to be looked at when you are talking to them or when they are talking to you. The amount of hand gestures people prefer is going to change too. Sometimes hand gestures are going to be distracting.  Culture is going to play a big part in how important these nonverbal messages are. Women and people from high context cultures: Japanese, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Chinese and Latin American are going to look for nonverbal messages more than what is actually said (Title, 2009). When speaking with my friend Kila, I will notice her looking me up and down and making observations about my mood that I did not even notice I was communicating. When at work people may judge your friendliness by how close you stand or if you maintain eye contact. Watching how others from high context cultures keep space between them and how they send nonverbal messages and emulating that is a good way to be sensitive to their communication style (Title, 2009). Being able to make friends in and out of the office is important for creating connections that will enrich your life. Making the first connections are going to important to and one way to do this is through self-disclosure.

Self-disclosure is a great way to help you build relationships. The importance of this for Gen Y is not mainly because of the idiosyncrasies’ of Gen Y, but because they are young, and this time in their life is where building lifelong relationships start. In addition, younger people are more likely to make the mistake of revealing too much or too little because they have not made the mistake yet. Letting another person know something personal about yourself is a relationship builder, because it will make you less of a stranger (Adubato, 2010). When people know more about you, they will trust you more. When disclosing personal information it can be troublesome trying to figure out what to reveal and what to keep to yourself. When first disclosing personal information to someone, try something like your thoughts about the news, but something non-confrontational (Adubato, 2010). When I start a new job and when I have a chance, I will ask questions about what people like to do for fun. Asking questions gives me a chance to tell others what I like to do. We might find something we have in common or not. Either way we have become a little less of a stranger to one another. Do not become too personal, because this would be inappropriate in a professional environment.  A person does not want to reveal that they enjoy the strip bar or they have a drinking problem. These things are inappropriate for many social interactions.  In contrast, if I did not reveal something about myself people may find me unfriendly and ultimately untrustworthy. The importance here is finding a medium between too much information and too little, remembering the goal is to build a positive relationship.

Learning to validate others is important so that one can let others know you think they are important. Creating a positive communication climate will improve the satisfaction you get from the job and relations between colleagues. Reading others nonverbal messages can take you to great lengths in understanding their preferences, but not everyone is going to use them as much or in the same way. Monitoring nonverbal communication will help in understanding what each particular person prefers. Disclosing personal ideas or stories will build others trust in you, used to show empathy, and help others to become more comfortable with you. All of these skills put together are going to confirm positive climates. Reading nonverbal messages will let you know if you are communicating in a way that validates others. Monitoring your nonverbal communication will help you adapt to different styles. Disclosing personal information will make the feelings between you and your colleagues more comfortable.  What Generation Y is going to need to learn will also entail the bad communication habits they have picked up from their parents and what Generation Y needs to know to be effective communicators is going to be different from person to person. The complaints of supervisors give some insight into what they think of Generation Y’s interpersonal skills, but how this differs concerning gender is not discussed. The skills for making a confirming climate will aid Generation Y in interpersonal communication in the workplace and this can lead to for further communication competencies by learning from other competent communicators.  

References

Adubato, S. (2010). For better communication, try getting more personal. njbiz, 23(13), 13.                       Retrieved May 7, 2010 from MasterFILE Premier database.

Baurelin, M. (2009, September 4). Why gen y Johnny can’t read nonverbal cues. Wall Street         Journal. Retreived May 7, 2010 from       http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574348493483201758.html

Lebo, B. (2009 ). Employing millennials: challenges and opportunities. New Hampshire Business Review, 31(26), 21. Retrieved May 5, 2010 from Regional Business News database.

Title, S. (2007). Communicating Across Cultures. San Diego Business Journal, 28(14), 14.            Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

Ward, K., & Schwartzman, R. (2009). Building interpersonal relationships as a key to effective    speaking center Consultations. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36(4), 363-372.             Retrieved May 1, 2010 from Professional Development Collection database.

Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Boston, MA:                               Wadsworth.

Posted May 29, 2010 by schuylerryan in School Projects I got A's on

The Legitimate Concerns of Telecommuting   Leave a comment

Getting Out of the Office

Jon, a produce sales man, works from home attempting to make sales of his produce; he contacts former clients, calls prospective clients, and sends e-mails to confirm orders. Jon maintains records on his computer and has video conferences with his supervisors and colleagues. Jon is a telecommuter and he is working ideally for himself and his company. Getting out of the office is something many may dream of and companies would like to utilize to save cost. Unfortunately, many potential telecommuters could work outside the office but are unwilling. Some employees are just unable to maintain productiveness. Telecommuting is definitely a different form of work that can be problematic, but with the right preparation and some helpful tips, much of the workforce could take advantage of this non-traditional means of work.

Understanding the potential problems in telecommuting employers can assure worker productivity and their own ability as a company to telecommute successfully. Problems in working away from the office include not maintaining work and life boundaries, not finding a means to stay in touch with colleagues and supervisors, poor confidence in one’s ability to telecommute, and a lack of thought to what might happen (“Tips on How To Telecommute the Right Way”). Other problems mentioned include how a company will telecommute, who will telecommute, training, and a number of problems after telecommuting has begun that involves technology, home offices, and telecommuters losing company status (Pisckurich, Telecommuter Skills Training through Telecommuting Problems, 1996). Companies will have to make plans and screen applicants to overcome these problems. They will have to make clear policies and procedures. Jon always makes time for his family and so is not overburdened by his work. Jon has been working with his company for a long time, is fully capable to fulfill his tasks without monitoring, and has clear goals and procedures that have been discussed with his company. He has also begun to take classes that will familiarize him with the technology that is particular to telework. Our produce sales man has equipped himself with the necessary skills and habits to perform his job outside the office.

When employers understand the problems involved with telecommuting, they can implement training and conduct research into successful telecommuting. Training for telecommuting should involve candidates, management, and even those who will not be telecommuting (Piskurich, Management training through Non-Telecommuter training,). Training for those not telecommuting will aid in continued collaboration (Pisckurich, Non Telecommuter Training). An orientation in telecommuting for management will help them create a style of management that will fit the needs of telecommuters, how to manage, and how to keep teleworkers productive (Yu, 2008). Telecommuting candidates training should include technological skills, staying connected, and orientation in telecommuting (Piskurich, para. 42). Telecommuting has been around for a long time and the research on successful telework is huge. Companies can avoid failure by doing their homework.

Companies interested in telecommuting are hindered by misconceptions from everyone involved. A misconception on the part of management has been that constant monitoring is the only way to make sure teleworkers actually work. Experts have cited that goal making is the best way to go and constant monitoring is the worst (King). Companies need to define how much telecommuting will be done, and not imagine it will be all or nothing (Tips on How to Telecommute the Right Way). Teleworkers may need to spend a couple days of the week in the office or more to be successful and avoid loneliness (Conlin, 2009). Flexibility in telecommuting will keep it realistic, and giving employees goals to make instead of constantly worrying them about projects will add to their own confidence and improve morale.

Changing perception on the parts of management and potential teleworkers on what telework is and what management style is effective will aid companies in making policies and procedure for successful telecommuting. Companies will also need to decide how they will interact. In her article Leah Bartos quoting the president of the New Orleans chapter of the Human Resource Management Association, “the manager and employee will need a lot of personal interaction, maybe even more than they would have in an office environment” (2009). How managers stays in touch with employees will be up to their personal judgment. Mangers may prefer face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, or may be happy with instant messaging. Jon the produce sales man is not being constantly monitored and he still stays productive. Jon is aware of what his company expects of him and he still from time to time goes in the office to meet with colleagues and so does not feel disconnected or out of the loop. Our sales man is following a plan that successful telecommuter before him also followed.

Jon is a productive worker for his company and research has observed the possible reasons why. An assumption made by some has been that introverts would work more productively as a telecommuter, but to the contrary, research has found that persons with organizational skills and the extroverted typed personalities are more apt for the task (Conlin). The need for the teleworker to be self disciplined, self-motivated, and to connect with others are necessary for successful telecommuting. Another reason Jon makes a good telecommuter is that he has worked in his field for a long time. Many in management feel it is important that employees have the traditional setting of the office and its support systems before working from home (King). Our telecommuter has been working in the food industry for a long time and with a personality that pushes him to connect with others he is ideal to telecommute.

Any employee who can do a job as productively or more productively outside the office can telecommute. Working on the go has been done in multiple jobs (Piskurich, Jobs that Telecommute section, para. 1). Jobs that telecommute include IT, medical, clerical, and a host of others that are all on the job market today (CareerBuilder). The number of telecommuters is growing also and that is going to increase the demand for companies to offer telecommuting as it becomes more popular. A recent survey has shown that the numbers of telecommuting jobs have risen 43% percent from 2003 to 2008, most who only worked part time (Worldatwork Survey, 2009). Some jobs cannot telecommute and these are jobs such as receptionist or any jobs that requires daily interaction with people (Piskurich, Jobs That Telecommute, para. 5). Some may not be able to work outside of the office because of what their jobs responsibilities entail. Telecommuting is still the way the work world is going though in many jobs.

Telecommuting takes some imagination on the part of the company to integrate some jobs outside the office. Workers for a company called Sun have workstations for their telecommuter that keeps information at the company and helps maintain information and so keeps information secure (King). Companies will have to decide for themselves what kind of software and technology they will need to keep those outside the office collaborating, how to maintain security, and making sure employees are satisfied with how they are working. Job satisfaction is one of the huge reasons that companies will choose to telecommute. Research has observed those telecommuters are given the freedom to work at their most optimal times and work better because of it (Piskurich, Advantages and Disadvantages, para. 3). Integration for home offices will supplement employee satisfaction as employers find better ways to keep communication channels open and overcome the problems employees have with feelings of isolation.

Telecommuting need not entail poor employee performance or reluctance when a plan is in place. Many occupations utilize telework already, if only on a part time basis. Whole companies need training for telecommuting to assure continued productivity outside the office. Misconceptions on the parts of management and employees will have to be corrected and this will be part of an effective training. The occupational possibilities for telecommuting are multiple and if the trend says anything it will be here for a long time and will grow. Telecommunication for Jon the sales man saves his company money, and lets him work on his own time. Jon works effectively because Jon and his company have done their research  and implemented teleworking with a strong plan in place.

 

References

Bartos, L. (2009, May 25). Home work: Telecommuting offers flexibility, but working remotely takes balance. New Orleans CityBusiness. Retrieved January 26, 2010, from MasterFILE    Premier database.

CareerBuilder. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2010, from http://www.careerbuilder.com/Jobs/Keyword/Telecommuting/?cbsid=24a71b8358f4c2f878f2b2691eb5252-318864290-VJ-4&cbRecursionCnt=1&

Conlin, M. (2009, July 27). The ideal virtual worker. BusinessWeek, (4140) , 65-65. Retrieved January 25, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database.

King, R. (2007, February 12). Working from home it’s in the details. BusinessWeek Online. 9-9.     Retrieved January 26, 2010, from Business Source Complete database.

Piskurich, G. M. (1996, February). Making telecommuting. Training and Development, 50(2) 20. Retrieved January 26, 2010, from MasterFILE Premier database.

Tips on how to telecommute the ‘right’ way. (2008, August). HR Focus, 85(4) 8-9. Retrieved February 2, 2010, from Business Source Complete database.

Worldatwork survey: 33.7 million telework. (2009, March). Work-Life Newsbrief &Trend     Report. 4-4. Retrieved Febuary 2,2010, from Business Source Complete database.

Yu, S. (2008, December) How to make teleworking work. Communication News. 45(12). 30-32.    Retrieved February 16, 2010, from Academic Search Premiere database.

 


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