Tips for Telecommuters

July 2015

Today's notion of going to work no longer necessitates putting on a suit and fighting rush hour traffic to get to the office with the rest of your coworkers. As the use of technology increases, many organizations are opting to cut costs by forgoing office space and operating remotely. Even companies with office space are giving employees the option to work from home as a benefit or incentive. While telecommuting provides flexibility for individuals who are able to perform their job duties without being physically present, it is important to be mindful of the possible pitfalls of working from home. Check out Addison’s tips for telecommuters to help you stay focused and in touch:

Get Up and Get Dressed

While you may not need the same amount of time to get ready for working remotely as you would if you were headed to the office, sleeping in can create poor habits and lead to a decrease in productivity. Make sure you get up at the same time every morning, allowing yourself plenty of time to get dressed and prepare for your day. Wearing relaxed clothing makes it difficult to be fully awake and ready to attack your workload, so get dressed as if you have somewhere to be, regardless of whether you have in-person engagement planned. 

Choose a Productive Work Environment

Not everyone needs to leave the house and head to the local Starbucks or library to get work done, but it is important that you choose an area of your home that will allow you to stay on task. Choose a clean, organized quiet area that will be free from distraction.

Schedule Face Time

Many telecommuters have the option of working from home or out of an office. While it can be easy to fall into the trap of rarely visiting the office, choose a set number of days a week or month to be present. This will show your coworkers that you want to establish an in-person connection and are putting in the effort to be a part of the office environment. 

Communicate Often

Offices encourage open lines of communication and a collaborative environment. While you aren’t able to walk a few feet over to coworkers' desks to ask a question or share an idea when you work remotely, don’t let your location discourage you from maintaining close contact. Make it a priority to check in with your team on a regular basis so that everyone is on the same page. 

Recharge

Like we mentioned above, you don't need to leave your house to find an appropriate workplace environment, and many people prefer the quiet of their home office to a coffee shop or library. That being said, some telecommuters work so hard to avoid distraction that they forget to step away and recharge during the day. It is just as important for remote employees to take breaks as it is for those working in an office environment. Finding time to take a walk or have lunch outside will give you the opportunity to come back to your work feeling reenergized. 

Don't Forget to Socialize

If your job doesn’t require you to attend regular meetings or client visits, try attending networking lunches or meetup groups related to your industry. A complete lack of in-person communication isn’t healthy for your career development or your mental health!

Regardless of your preference, telecommuting is quickly becoming a workplace trend. Strategies for how to work remotely will vary from person to person, but it is important to be aware of how you perform best. Creating rules to govern the flexiblilty of remote work options will help maintain productivity and balance.