As a teleworker for over twenty-five years, I know the pros and cons of working out of your home. All of the advantages of telecommuting are really dependent on the ability to do it wisely.
Confession: When I first started I worked out of my basement. To set the focus, I would walk out the front door with my bag and go the the back door to enter my workplace.
Below are some tips to make your telework more efficient and satisfying.
• Focus your life, focus your work and focus your day
Understand why you are telecommuting, understand the rewards as well as any disadvantages
What is it you want to accomplish?
What is your daily game plan?
How will you manage the slouch within?
End the work day with a 10 of 15 minute planning session for the next day
Determine your peak energy times
• Design a specific secure, healthy and comfortable home work space. Draw a clear line between your work and living space.
How much space do you need?
How much physical and psychological separation will you need to minimize distractions?
What security requirements are needed?
Design your work space for efficiency
Keep your work space organized and protect our equipment (your livelihood)
• Minimize household and family stressors. You see everyone thinks you have all the time in the world.
Take care of child and elder care
Keep your personal business matters in a separate location
Let your neighbors and friends know you are still at work
• Keep your supervisor informed and know when to ask for help. Check in with your colleagues.
Confession: I am a true extrovert so I try to keep in touch with everybody and I play music to keep my creative vibes going,
• Take breaks to relax, reenergize, and to keep your sanity and health. It is essential to keep balance. Manage the workaholic within you. Confession: My lunch breaks are my walk breaks with music of course. My breaks were also my wash and dry laundry breaks.
• Dress for work and success. This helps you focus. While dress codes have changed business casual seems the norm. Dressing appropriately helps you create a mind-set for the day. Dressing sloppy and laid back may not help you keep your focus.
• Keep your work space organized and protect your equipment (your livelihood)
• Avoid time wasters – “Activity creep” is the slow emergence into your day of “stuff” that needs to be done at home but is not essential to achievement of your key daily work goals.
There has been much written about the misuse and disadvantages of telework. But from what I’ve experienced over the years is that I work harder at home than I ever did in an office setting but I have less stress. Most individuals have found that teleworking can have a pretty positive impact on the quality of work life, productivity and peace of mind if properly carried out. But for you other folks, please don’t ruin it for everybody!