HOW TO SUCCEED AS A TELECOMMUTER
It is easy to get distracted or lose sight of your professional goals when you
work remotely—even for those who are seasoned home workers. Telecommuters
need to be particularly self-motivated to perform effectively without a supervisor
physically looking over their shoulders. Here are some suggestions to help you
:: Get dressed for work: You don’t have to put on a suit, but wearing something a
little more polished than pajamas should put you in a professional frame of mind.
:: Organize a dedicated workspace: Even if this is just a desk in a corner of the
dining room, keep that one area just for work. Sure, your commute may be all of ten
seconds, but you are still on your way to your office, and when you sit down at your
desk, you will assume a business-like frame of mind.
:: Get comfortable: Nothing drains your stamina like eyestrain caused by poor
lighting or backache from sitting in the wrong kind of chair. Make sure your work area
is set up ergonomically.
:: Reduce clutter and minimize distractions: Keep your work area neat and
avoid placing your desk near the widescreen TV or the fridge, if these are your biggest
temptations or distractions. The same goes for areas of high traffic, such as the
kitchen or children’s playrooms.
:: Structure your time: If you have the flexibility to set your work hours, carve
out—and stick to—a schedule that works best for you. Some people are larks while
others are owls.
:: Check in: Keep in contact with managers and coworkers, giving and receiving
status updates—this will ensure you keep on track with assignments while
maintaining a professional persona. When taking a break, send colleagues a message
so that they know the break is
a scheduled one.
:: Manage childcare:
Avoid trying to juggle
parenting and working
being close to loved ones
is one of the key benefits of
telecommuting, it is just not
possible to focus 100 percent
on work output and a child.
Consider childcare (in the
home or outside) even if it is
only for limited hours.
:: Define your objectives:
Set both daily and weekly goals to help keep your focus. Picture what you are going to
work on for the day and list what you want to accomplish. Also, have an overall weekly
goal or two written down on your calendar.
:: Make sure you take breaks: Office workers may take water cooler breaks and
have regular hallway chats. When working from home, it is incredibly easy to become
absorbed in a task before realizing that four hours have gone by. Try to get up for
about 5-10 minutes every hour to protect your body and recharge your batteries. Just
remember to go back to work.
Working from home inevitably results in less interaction with colleagues. Those who enjoy the social
aspects of office-based work may
struggle with the solitary nature of
telecommuting. Additionally, when
your boss or coworkers see you less
regularly at the office you may fall
out of the social loop, missing opportunities to network and build
There is a common fear that
being “out of sight, out of mind”
damages chances of advancement
within a company. However, a
study of 17,000 teleworkers by the
U.S. Small Business Administration
found this to be a myth. Teleworkers receive a higher proportion of
promotions than their office-based
counterparts. However, home-based workers do need to proactively build relationship networks.
Additionally, while colleagues can
be a distraction, they can also provide social interaction, which can
relieve stress or provide a sounding
board for ideas.
CPM, ARM, CAPS,
MANAGER AT CORE
MANAGEMENT INC. IN