Friday, June 11, 2010

The View from the Virtual Office: making life better

Today, I am very pleased to bring you a very interesting post, the first in a two part series. This very touching post, authored by full time Avaya teleworker Jeff Blatt, shares a number of the benefits he has experienced over the years through his work arrangement, including the touching role it played in dealing with a family health crisis.

As a reminder, Jeff is a Manager with our Global Support Services Operations and ably serves our global customers from the comfy confines of his house in the beautiful Oregon woods near the Willamette River (doesn’t that sound idyllic). Thanks a ton to Jeff for his work putting these posts together and sharing his experiences. Keep up the good work.

The View from the Virtual Office
By: Jeff Blatt

I am not political, nor an activist, but I want to share my personal experiences as a long-time, full-time, telecommuter. As you'll see, it is not about a day, month, or even a year, but a lifestyle.

"Virtual" Reality: Life's Challenges
Sometimes the Avaya UC story has significant personal impact. I have telecommuted full-time for over twelve years, servicing Avaya's global customers and employees. Working virtual office has obvious environmental benefits and the flexibility has been mutually rewarding. Within the last 18 months, the impact has been more profound. My father, an avid volunteer minister, bicyclist, hiker, and kayaker, was diagnosed with a rare and advanced cancer. Thus began 600 mile journeys to be with him for doctor's visits, hospital stays, and home care. During the 12-hour drives, I worked 'passenger VO', equipped with my laptop, wireless broadband, email, chat, and Avaya tools (VPNremote, IP Agent, one-X Mobile, EC500, ASA, CMS). My portable 'office' went with me wherever needed, whether a waiting room or the living room, enabling me to assist him and yet perform my job. With extended care situations, such flexibility is unmatched, reducing time-off and yet allowing me to continue to quickly assist my family on short-notice. I truly appreciate this aspect of work-family balance that Avaya technology and support from my management has enabled.

"Virtual" Reality: Environmental Impact
When I joined Avaya (Quintus Corporation at that time), I commuted about 80 miles round trip in the San Francisco, California, area. I have tried carpooling, light rail, commuter rail, and transit bus. The office moved several times, so the worse-case commute would have been 100 miles a day. However, I enjoy a zero-commute since I began telecommuting from Oregon. Living near an airport has allowed occasional travel to customer and Avaya sites. Yet, using Avaya's 'Green Calculator' I estimate a savings of 61428 kwh of energy, 72 tons of CO2 emissions, and 4416 gallons of gas. I've reallocated 3960 commute hours to more important tasks and explored solar power for my laptop; my property's small forest helps clean the air. …Enabled by Avaya technology.

Posted by Wilson Korol at 11:31 on June 10, 2010

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