The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 10, 2013

Telecommuting: Truly at home in the office


Rahe said he would return to SCC every two or three weeks to touch base.

Deana Colemer, SCC’s director of research planning and grants, arranged to work from home just north of the Twin Cities when her family relocated due to her husband’s job promotion.

She said the couple’s children, 13 and 10, are in school most of the time, but when they’re at home, they know the house ground rules: Mom’s at work and not to be disturbed.

“Technology makes this doable,” Colemer said. “In the morning I grab my purse, come downstairs and I’m at work.”

She said she uses Jabber (“kind of like Skype on steroids; it’s been a lifesaver”) to video teleconference with colleagues at SCC’s campuses in North Mankato and Faribault.

Colemer said she works on campus a day or so a week.

Web designer Giroux, meantime, said he thrives on working exclusively out of his home.

He’s part of a 30-employee company that does Web and marketing work for law firms throughout the nation.

As a former office worker, he said he had some concerns about working solely at home when he took the job, but he gave it a test run and it clicked for him.

He said he and his co-workers share physical face time only when they gather for yearly conferences.

This past year they met in North Carolina, which is a pretty good haul from Minnesota, but nothing like the trek the telecommuting company vice president had to make.

He lives in Iceland.  

Giroux has worked at home about a year. By contrast, media Web developer Don Lipps of Mankato is in his fifth year of telecommuting.

Lipps, who works for The Free Press’ Alabama-based parent company CNHI, said working at home was difficult at first.

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