My co-workers seem clueless about what I actually do when I'm
telecommuting. What can I do to show them I'm not sitting around watching
TV all day?
This is a common concern, no matter how valuable or effective you might
have been while working in the office. As a society, we are accustomed to
associating "work" with "the office" and relaxation with being at home - so
the natural tendency is to somehow assume that telecommuters aren't really
working at home.
You have several options. First, make sure that your co-workers are aware
of what you're producing. Don't take too much credit for your work or
otherwise act like a superstar, but make sure your work doesn't become
invisible. Your manager might be able to help you stay in the limelight in
Second, be sure you use the phone, e-mail, fax, and whatever other methods
available to stay in touch with your co-workers while you're away. In the
absence of some ongoing communication, they might assume that you're just
Third, consider inviting one or more co-workers to visit you in your home
office. When they see that you aren't lounging on the sofa or working in
the hot tub (you aren't - are you?), and they see that you actually have a
functioning office at home, they'll probably start acting differently.
Keep in mind that any visits to your home must be at YOUR option, and only
if YOU are comfortable with this.