101 Tips for Telecommuters by Debra A. Dinnocenzo

This article was inspired by Debra A. Dinnocenzo's 101 Tips for Telecommuters . If you enjoy this article then consider purchasing or borrowing the book.


How to be a Successful Telecommuter

“Most successful telecommuters have a fairly structured routine they follow daily.”

Despite its advantages – not having to commute to work, a more flexible work schedule and the comforts of home, not every employee is suited for telecommuting. Staying motivated while working from your house may not be as easy as you think. From computer crashes to missed colleagues, telecommuting presents many challenges.

Before you decide to become a telecommuter, consider the pros and cons of such a choice. What are your economic goals and preferred work environment conditions? How will telecommuting benefit you and your family, and are you best suited for this type of role? Determine your future goals and the core values that motivate you.

By writing a job plan that matches your personal mission statement, you can keep yourself on track. A daily “to do” list should list goals for that day and the next day. Telecommuting will present you with distractions that didn’t press on your mind at a conventional workplace. Internet surfing, television, computer games, laundry and chats with your neighbor can disrupt your work. Identify time wasters and develop a strategy to deal with them.

As a traditional workplace will teach you, organization is important. Keep your workspace tidy and organize your files efficiently. Organizing your daily routine into a structured series of steps helps. Take a notepad and writing utensil or a recording device with you wherever you go, so that you can record noteworthy ideas.

Many telecommuters isolate themselves. You can avoid this by using various modes of communication to keep in contact with your colleagues. Set up regular meetings to meet with friends. Volunteering in your community is another good way to prevent isolation.

You will have to develop a system to keep track of your expenses, if your employer doesn’t give you a log to do this. Take note of every reimbursable expense including your car mileage.

Contrary to popular belief, you will not experience more time with your family by telecommuting, unless you take steps to balance work and home life. Tell your family what hours you will be working, so that they will treat it like a traditional job. Address family members who constantly interrupt you. Avoid such interruptions by setting up your workspace in an area that isn’t highly traveled (your bedroom is too personal a space to set up as an office).

Determine the best ways to care for your children and get work done. Stress can be avoided by assigning chores to your children and by keeping yourself from taking on too much work. Affordable childcare may be the best for your family.

Keep in touch with your team and colleagues. Your network of external partners is important also. Use technology to your advantage by finding the devices that work well for others in your line of work.

Whether you are already telecommuting or planning to do so in the future, planning ahead will allow you to be successful.

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