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Working remotely has been my life for many years, working for a corporation with a global team. I am compelled to take every opportunity to share how much I love it, how rich the experience is for me. For me there is no isolation at all, on the contrary, I am able to speak and work and play collaboratively via the Internet and phone with others each day. The benefits are vast. The ability to touch a most diverse audience increases my awareness of different cultures and perspectives and situations...which helps me feel more a part of the globe than a part of just a local community, even a subset of a local community. As you alluded to, the technologies are fantastic and ever growing to keep us in touch with those we can't see or touch. Research even shows that many times we can tend to be more thoughtful and more open in our conversations without being there in person. So, yes, we are blind to expressions and posture, but perhaps we are beginning to overcome perceptions based on these sight-focused interpretations and strengthing higher abilities to perceive through words (written or vocal) and other forms of expression. The opportunity to work remotely has provided me insights and allowed me to fine-tune my ability to consider and understand in such a greater way...it has been of immense value to me.

As far as being intimidated by working remotely, no one should feel intimidated. The more we just do it, the more we all learn collectively. And I do think because a remote relationship is more inclusive of differences, the more things like spelling or appropriate grammar or even ways to say things will be accepted. So perhaps remote work or other relationships helps build tolerance and acceptance, as well as the awareness to accommodate those with needs different from ones self.

I recently sent out a survey to gather data about the current perceptions and abilities to provide accessible e-learning. I meant to focus on accessibility for those who had physical impairments. However, I must not have made a clear enough definition for accessibility was interpreted as many things - logistics, language appropriate, global availability, even effectiveness of multimedia within a training event. At first I was very discouraged, then I realized I'd received information from a diverse audience on what successfully "reached" them at an appropriate level or not. So working remotely, I should have known to consider how we all work, in different countries and cultures, with different physical capabilities, with different learning styles, with different technologies. Again, working remotely allowed me to realize that this is a bigger picture these days in most things we do. And if we allow it, it can be extremely personally rewarding.

The tips you provided, Bill, are great. I encourage all to practively communicate any stumbling blocks you face in working remotely - unawareness is often the greatest reason for non-accommodation - many remote friends/workers are happy and able to accomodate you if they understand what they can do.

Hi Kristin,

Thanks for your ideas. Like you talked about we need to share ideas to grow. In this remote collaboration tool we should not be intimidated to share our ideas or views.

I know what you mean that working remotely brings worlds together. I am currently working on projects with others from other countries and as we work we do not feel the effect of hundreds or thousands of miles of distance between us.

I do many conference calls each day and most times do not even know where the others are at on call. My team at work is spread all across the US and it makes no difference. We all work together as a great team, regardless of distance.

Since I am completely blind talking on phone is not too much different than in person for working relationships. I can tell the mood of others on call at times. I have learned to pick up on non-visual queues since going blind, so I think this has helped me in these remote meetings some.

One draw back of working remotely is I do not know when to quit working. It is too easy to just keep working since I can, if I wanted.

Does anyone else have opinions of working remotely?

Any more tips and tricks to share to help all?

Bill Tipton
Contributing Author
Global Dialogue Center

Hi Bill -
Your story is really inspiring to me. I have a mobility disability. It's always a new day - I find myself problem solving daily just to keep working in pace with those around me. Keep your positive spirit. I've learned it's a choice, not a feeling.

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