Telecommuting Tips for the Home Office

July 3rd, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »

telecommuting home office
For some workers telecommuting can be the best thing in the world. No commute, no office, you just get to hang out at home all day, but telecommuting isn’t always as great as it sounds. It requires planning and some serious self-motivational techniques.

If you are considering Telecommuting then follow these tips for success.

Start Nesting

Building your office is the most important step to successful telecommuting. Plus, it’s a fun process whereby you get to customize your own little area that is just for you.

A spare bedroom is usually the best place to set up shop, as many people tend to have a hard time working in a place that they associate with relaxation. Your bedroom is generally not a productive place. Your office should be cut off from the distractions of the world. It should feel as if you have left your house when you are there.

Install a bat phone

Bruce Wayne knew how to keep his professional and personal calls separate. Just as you have a separate office and email address for work, it is important in telecommuting to also have an additional phone line. You won’t be in the office very often so calls from clients and coworkers may send your cellphone into a ringing frenzy. A separate phone line (whether a landline or mobile) is a great way for work contacts and clients to keep in touch with you.

Clean up your act

The great thing about telecommuting is you don’t have to get all dressed up just to sit in an office all day, but that doesn’t mean that you should roll out of bed and work in your pajamas either. Many people find themselves to be more productive if they shower, shave, and get dressed as if they are going to work. That doesn’t mean that you have to sit at your computer in a suit and tie. Wear whatever makes you feel both comfortable and productive at the same time.

Ritualize your day

Schedules can help you stay on task and prevent your focus from meandering throughout the day. Figure out what you want to accomplish and set times in which you will finish – or at least finish working on – each task.

Ask yourself whether you are more productive in the am or pm. Another great perk to telecommuting is the flexible hours. If you struggle in the mornings then stay in bed until you are fully rested. If you are an “early bird gets the worm” kind of person then kick it into gear just as the sun comes up.

Crown yourself

Have you ever wanted to run an office? Now that you are telecommuting, you pretty much do. Although it seems nice to not have a boss to poke his or her head into your office every second of the day, the lack of authority can leave you lacking motivation. Although you are technically at home you still have a job to do. The only difference now is that you are responsible for being your own boss. So make sure you get the job done on time!

Stay out of the shadows

Just because you are telecommuting doesn’t mean that you should cut all ties with your office. Staying in contact with your coworkers and your boss is imperative to maintaining healthy work relationships and keeping on top of what is going on within your company. Make sure you periodically check in to avoid being the person everyone in your office forgets about.

Lock the doors

Now that you are telecommuting from home it’s okay for friends and family to stop by right? Remember that your office may be your house, but business hours are still business hours. Make sure to set clear boundaries while you are in your work zone to prevent unwanted visits from in-laws or unemployed friends.

Hit the pause button

You had a lunch hour when you worked in an office so why shouldn’t you get one when working from home? Taking breaks from work is still beneficial when you are telecommuting. Make sure to take some time to relax, recharge your brain, and come back after lunch ready to work.

Avoid cabin fever

There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at the office and plopping down on your couch. But what do you do if you have been working all day inside your house? Telecommuting can drive you crazy if you don’t get out and interact with the world. So make sure you go out for walks, throw back a pint at your local watering hole, or do whatever makes you happy. If you are okay with never leaving your house then I know of a mission to Mars that is currently seeking someone like you.

Know when enough is enough

Not only is it important to prevent your home life from invading your work time, it is equally as important to prevent your work from invading your home life. Telecommuting means that your work always stays at home with you. It is imperative that you know when to shut off at the end of the work day and close the door. Lock and barricade it if you have to!

Remember that no two people are the same, so these telecommuting tips may not be right for you. The trick is finding the best fit based on your personality, work habits, and lifestyle.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of GreenLight Designs (Jordan Green)