How to successfully telecommute from home
Allowing employees the ability to work from home is often a cost-savings measure for employers because telecommuting often increases productivity and helps retain the best employees. With these cost-effective advantages, employers are passing on the opportunity to their employees and many people are jumping at the chance to work from home.
Some of the benefits that come with a telecommuting position are:
- Savings on commuting costs
- Reduction of stress (for some)
5 Tips for Successful Telecommuting
Separate work space
Reduce interruptionsWhile one of the biggest advantages to telecommuting is it gives you more family time and enhances your home life, the drawback is it’s easy to get distracted and forget the times you should be “at work.” With family, chores and other projects lurking about, this can easily become a big distraction if you allow it. Once in a while won’t do much harm but if the interruptions snowball, this can lead to lowered productivity and performance, which could hurt your career and/or jeopardize your telecommuter status.
Telecommuting requires a high degree of autonomy and ability to stay on-task and focused. Don’t let the household distractions draw your attention away from your work. This should be a firm rule you set right from the start and make sure you keep to it yourself.
Good time managementSince telecommuting requires high degrees of autonomy and self-pacing, good time management skills are a much-needed skill set to possess. It’s to your advantage to learn good time management skills and vigorously practice them. When you work from home you have to be able to self-regulate your assignments, projects and other work-related tasks. Managing your time well helps you achieve this and enjoy a solid work-life balance.
Set office hoursIt may help both yourself and family/friends if you set specific office hours where you are off-limits to interruptions, such as visits or telephone calls. This way you can schedule blocks of time to get your job done without distraction. Hang a sign on your door or put office hours on your voice mail, this way everyone will clearly understand when you’re working and you can reduce, or at least minimize interruptions. If you can effectively reduce breaks in your workday and get your family and friends to understand you are not ‘home’, this will make your transition much easier.
Maintain contact with colleagues
By maintaining regular contact with colleagues, attending meetings, both professionally and socially, this will help reduce feelings of seclusion. Additionally, it is good for your career to maintain levels of visibility; you don’t want to become a statistic of the old adage, out of sight, out of mind. Being invisible can hinder your career, be sure and make at least occasional appearances.
Changing your status from office based employee to a telecommuter can be a big transition, but if you keep these five tips in mind, you can experience all the wonderful benefits that come with the ability to telecommute to work. In the long run, the telecommuter structure can be a win-win scenario for both employer and employee.