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Guilford Editor Telecommutes to San Francisco

Tech publishing editor Mike Loukides found the gain in efficiency in productivity as a telecommuter has allowed him to manage more authors for his company, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

From his home office in Guilford, Loukides works with 20 authors located all over the country, each with manuscripts in different stages of development. "I've generally done more than most of the other editors," said Loukides. "Part of that is because I've worked from home and have less interruptions."

"For my particular job there's a lot of freedom for organizing how my job goes and with telecommuting you spend a lot less time in meetings," Loukides added. "Although I do find that despite having a lot of freedom to control my time, it definitely helps to set a business-hour schedule. I try to work close to an 8:30 to 5:30 day.

O' Reilly & Associates, with its worldwide headquarters in San Francisco, California, publishes 70 to 100 computing books a year for the professional and corporate market. Loukides began telecommuting for O'Reilly ten years ago when his former employer, Multiform Computer Systems went out of business (O'Reilly was a documentation vendor for the company). Loukides was then equipped with a three-computer network and a DSL service.

There are about 40 telecommuters working for O' Reilly according to Loukides, including half of the editorial staff. He said they do a lot of teleconferencing with each other and with the office (group meetings once a week). "For books with multiple authors we'll set up a regular meeting time and use teleconferencing centers available on the Internet."

"In addition, if my child is sick and needs to stay home my work doesn't stop," Loukides said. "I know people who if their child is sick they're just home with them and no work is getting done. As for myself I don't generally take very much sick time. I am still able to do some work and already being set up with a home office I am able to do it."

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