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Editor's Letter

Welcome Home Guess where I'm writing this column? At home, which is where I work at least one day a week.

My husband, who's in sales like you (telecom industry), works from home full-time when he's not out visiting clients or one of his company's satellite offices in Baltimore.

Maybe you work from home too. One in five employees works from home at least part-time, according to a Forbes report, which predicts that the number will explode in the next five years.

A couple months ago, Andy Cohen, editor of our sister publication Counselor magazine, asked the editors for our predictions for 10 years from now for an article he was writing. One of my predictions was that everyone will work from home at least part of the time.

Whether you're a rep who works remotely sometimes or a business owner who employs remote workers, we present a telecommuting guide this issue. In "How To Be a Top Telecommuter," our newest contributor Melinda Rizzo, a former news reporter who now does freelance work from home, explores the reasons people opt to work remotely, the benefits to employers who allow it and top tips from telecommuters.

We include compelling statistics, too, from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, which make the case for telecommuting. Two-thirds of people want to work from home and 36% would choose it over a pay raise. And 80% of employees consider telework a job perk. That "perk," however, works both ways. According to the same site, two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among telecommuters.

I know I can definitely get more done right here at home without the distractions of the onsite office. Yes, Sneakers the cat does walk across my laptop keyboard on occasion, but Steve keeps to himself downstairs, I keep to myself upstairs and we both do what we have to do to meet our deadlines and reach our quotas. Be sure to read this article for tips on maintaining the necessary self-discipline.

This issue we also have a fun and inspiring article on reps' activities outside of the ad specialty industry. Senior Writer Chris Ruvo talked to successful sales reps with a wide array of outside experience that helps boost their industry business as well. We've got a heavy-metal front-man, a country rocker, a pro golfer, a missionary, a couple of thespians and writers and a woodcarver.

As Steve Flaughers, the owner of Proforma 3rd Degree Marketing (asi/490897) and lead singer for Coalie's Run Band, notes, it's all about the passion for what you do, whether it's performing or selling. "You have to be excited about what you do and deliver that energy to people," he says. "It's what connects you. Strong connections are everything on stage or in business."

"If you want people to like your band and come out to see you again, give them something special," Flaughers told Chris. "It's the same in our industry. You have to over-impress to the point that your customers become raving fans."

I'm sure you will be impressed with the reps featured in this very entertaining read. Enjoy!