Whether you run a home based business or telecommute, today’s century allow us the convenience to be able to do both.
What’s not to love about telecommuting? When you can work from the comfort of your home, skip commuter traffic, set your own hours, and live outside of corporate politics, telecommuting offers all those conveniences without any outside obstacles.
But as exciting as a telecommuting career may be, it’s certainly not for everyone. Telecommuting comes at a price and offers its own set of challenges. When your work life and home life collide, the result can be messy. Follow these 10 Ways to Utilize Telecommuting The Right Way:
1. Create your own work space environment
Setting up a dedicated work space at home is important. If you have the space, turn an entire room into a home office. This gives you the privacy and focus you need to concentrate. Also, designating a desk area in a corner of a room or even going down the street to a local coffee shop works just as well. Remember your bed, the kitchen counter top or your sofa are off limits unless your job consist of only using a smartphone, for example to tweet share on social media networks, etc. in which case you can.
Decorating your home office to reflect a more professional atmosphere can help in keeping that business momentum when dealing with projects, business calls and deadlines.
2. Break time
Taking breaks are important to keep yourself energized. Make sure you take an hour for lunch. Take coffee breaks in the morning, and/or a snack break in the afternoon. There’s a reason why even in an office environment, breaks are necessary. Breaks allow you to come back with your productivity level up and feel recharged to push forward through-out your day.
3. Dress to impress
You might be asking yourself why dress to impress when I’m working from home? The truth remains that along the lines of how important it is to create a convincing work space, it is just as important to dress like you are going to the office. Partly because dressing for work can change and focus your mental attitude. Plus, going through the motions of getting ready for the day sets the tone for a constructive work atmosphere, and helps you get a feel of a professional attitude to tackle your work.
4. Keeping deadlines
One of the cardinal rules of any home based business including telecommuting is setting and keeping realistic deadlines. As exciting as it may be to have no boss breathing down your neck, working without a goal in mind is the quickest way to have an unproductive work day.
If it is a challenge for you to keep track of deadlines, write them down and email it to your employer so that you have someone keeping you on track. It’s also helpful to set reminders on your smart phone to make sure you’re on schedule to meet every goal necessary to complete your tasks.
5. Open communication
It’s very easy to tune out the outside world when you work from home. That is why it is of the utmost importance to make sure there are multiple ways for your employer and colleagues to keep in contact with you. While telecommuting allow you to avoid the intricacies of corporate politics, it also means that you have to be your own advocate at times too.
A good way to keep yourself in a steady communication mode is by checking your emails frequently, and respond back as soon as you can. Keep your phone at hand, and make sure to keep yourself in the loop of any office meetings. An instant messaging service works well. For more long distance projects, make use of free video conferencing tools like Skype.
Establishing an an open communication system is a building block to your success as a telecommuter. Be proactive and physically go to the office for important meetings, or even just to remind others who you are. Not only is it important to network from home but also network in person as well.
6. Separate work/personal life
When you work at home, the line between your work life and personal life can get blurred easily. Set up a schedule to balance the two. As with a typical 9 to 5 job, whenever you’re done for the day, you sign off, put the phone down and turn off your computer.
Practice how to separate both work and personal life for peace of mind. When you’re on company time, be at your best, and when you’re on your personal time, enjoy every moment of it.
7. Be realistic
Be aware of your company’s policies and benefits as they apply to you. Check up on special tax deductions you can take such as office supplies, lunch meetings, or a work cell phone bill and save all your receipts for filing. Being realistic of what is expected of you and your employer up front will avoid any inconsistencies later on.
Most businesses will provide office equipment with the right level of security necessary to get your job done. Having all the right security protocols to access their system for example, computer, passwords etc. is important. Setting up VPN access, logging into your work email, and/or having the right phone number and pass code to call in to office meetings are all part of the technology requirement.
9. The right attitude
Being your own motivator can be tough but having a proactive attitude is essential to being productive. Avoid distractions like phone calls from family and friends, non-work related emails, Facebook, etc.
It can get very easy to slack off a little bit but remember if you maintain a positive work attitude, this alone will speak volume. You can gain brownie points when you reflect an impressive work ethic to your superiors.
10. Be proud of your accomplishments
Take time to be proud of yourself. It is not easy working from home. Temptations are likely to happen but with the right mix of these 10 ways to utilize telecommuting the right way plus the right amount of perseverance, you can do it. Remember to celebrate YOU. It is important to recognize when you do a job well done. Treat yourself by going to a movie with a friend or meet up with off-site colleagues to commemorate your telecommuting achievements!
Check Out This Video On How To Talk Your Boss Into Letting You Telecommute To Work:
About the author: Sonia Colon is writer/publisher of My Fashion E-Mall Blog, The Biz Buzz of A Latina Mom and biz owner at Books About Me. For additional powerful business articles and Internet marketing tips for maintaining a lucrative home business subscribe to her newsletter.
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