Tips for Successful Telecommuting

February 19, 2009 by Lynn Faughey

It’s STILL February and since Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, we are in for long winter.  So, when the wintry weather is not cooperating with your daily commute, why not consider telecommuting as an option?

Some companies are really progressive when it comes to allowing their employees to work from home every now and then but there are still others that are resistant to it.  If you are lucky enough to have a boss who doesn’t mind that you telecommute every now and then, count your blessings.  This is a flexible work option not available to everyone.  But if you are in the camp that needs to convince their management that working from home is OK, here are THREE important tips to make your telecommuting arrangement a success.
1)       Stay connected.  Make sure you have a reliable high-speed internet connection in your home.  Check and respond to e-mails frequently and your co-workers may not even realize that you are not in the office.  And don’t forget about your voice mailbox.  Checking messages three times a day is a good guideline (once in the morning, once mid-day, and once at the end of the day.)  Also, to show that you are available for direct access, consider leaving your cell phone number on your voicemail message.
2)       Have a dedicated work space at home.  Ideally, you should have a separate room with a door that can keep noise and other distractions at bay.  Having your own space will also keep you more organized and keep you focused on your work.  Make sure you have a phone equipped with a good quality speakerphone so that you can access documents on your computer easily while talking clearly on the phone.
3)       Arrange for daycare for your children.  Unless your children are older and can take care of themselves, it’s way too ambitious to think that you can effectively work and care for your children at the same time.  If they are at home for a snow day, consider asking a grandparent or a friend to care for them during the hours that you plan to get work done.
Telecommuting, especially on days with bad weather, can be a win-win for both you as the employee and your employer.  A quiet day in your home office is a great time to get to those important tasks that are best done without constant interruptions from your co-workers. It’s also an ideal opportunity to get those “important but not urgent” activities completed.

So, remind your boss of all the productive hours you can spend working instead of being stuck in traffic on the wintry roads.  And, you’ll both feel better knowing that you chose the flexible work option that keeps one more car off the road.

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