NEW YORK-Time magazine is talking about the rise of the remote worker. Guest columnist Dan Schwabel's article, in fact is entitled, “The Rise of the Remote Worker, or How to Work from Home Without Getting Fired.” You gotta love that!

Schwabel points to a Cisco study that reveals 70 percent of college students and young professionals don’t find it necessary to head into the office anymore. That suggests that a new age is dawning in the world of work.

“Telecommuting, working from home, working remotely: they all essentially mean the same thing (working somewhere other than in an office). And this form of work is growing,” he writes. “The Atlantic reported that there are now more than 34 million people who work from home occasionally. A new study by the software company Wrike, meanwhile, shows that 83% of employees work remotely at least part of the day. Presumably, reading and answering e-mails while commuting, or perhaps just before bedtime, counts, as it should.”

So how do you work from a virtual office without getting fired? Schwabel has some suggestions for virtual office workers:

  1. Get organized

  2. Check in with your manager frequently

  3. Push yourself to network

  4. Take breaks and get fresh air

  5. Work in productive space

  6. Use collaboration tools

  7. Respond to e-mails quickly


All good tips for the virtual office worker. The truth is, you can be more productive from a virtual office. That doesn’t necessary do away with in-person meetings from time to time. And working from a virtual office doesn’t mean being an island unto yourself.

The key is to show your productivity to coworkers and managers. You can do that through tools like WorkSimple’s Social Goals Personal Edition. (It's a great tool for career management.) There are lots of collaboration and productivity and networking tools on the market that aim at virtual office users. A word to the wise: Use them.