Making Telecommuting Work For You, Part II

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Telecommuting is becoming more popular thanks to a growing awareness of its benefits.  Previous concerns about productivity dim as employers realize that lower costs and greater employee satisfaction often outrank any negatives.  However, pitfalls can exist.  Previously, we discussed ways for telecommuting employees to ensure success by understanding their employer’s expectations.  Another tricky area is the challenge of a telecommuter maintaining professionalism in a casual home setting.  The best intentions can go awry when working from home.  With little supervision and multiple distractions, a telecommuter can end up sleeping in, being distracted by the television or personal interests, or catching up on errands instead of that work project.  It helps, therefore, to set certain rules for you, family and friends.

Set Expectations At Home

If you previously had a long commute to work, it may be tempting to used that freed-up time to sleep in.  This can be a slippery slope, with more and more time taken away from your work day.  And rolling from your bed to your office chair will show with fuzzy thinking and inertia. So, continue to set that alarm.  Allow ample time to wake up and eat a good breakfast before beginning work.  While it’s great to avoid that work dress code, it’s hard to feel professional in pajamas.  Keep grooming and dressing for public viewing. Rather than working from your cushy sofa in the living room, with the television remote temptingly near, have a specific work space, and keep a set time to be in your chair working.  Even having a set lunch hour can help keep you on track.

Working from home means not only managing yourself, but managing the expectations of friends and family.  People often assume that since you are at home, it is okay to interrupt you with questions, requests or just conversation. But this can quickly become a slippery slope to doing more for family than your employer.  First, set some ground rules for your work hours, including no interruptions except for emergencies.  Second, if you share your home, you need a workspace behind closed doors. While you may require quiet to work, it’s unfair to expect those in your house to tip-toe from nine to five.

Finally, make certain that work equipment is work equipment. Most importantly, your work computer should not also be your family computer.  Doing so increases the risk for damage to your equipment and important documents. It can also be a violation of company policy as it allows others possible access to private corporate documents. And do you really want to risk your sixteen-year- old daughter’s emails accidentally being cc’d to everyone at your work? Also, keep work and home phones separate.  A client or coworker will be less-than-impressed if your five-year-old answers the phone, so avoid giving out your private family numbers.  Doing so also saves you the aggravation of anyone who may blur the lines between work hours and personal time.  You can still use your home or private cell phone to make calls, however. Simply use a

An employee often finds many benefits when allowed to work from home.  Yet, in a casual setting it can be easy to lose some of your polish and drive.  By maintaining a routine, however, a telecommuter will remain focused, with less blurring between professional and personal.  With expectations communicated and set, a telecommuter can successfully enjoy the best of both worlds.


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Dave Smith has 99 articles online


About the Author: Dave Smith is a Marketing Associate at Itellas, a leading provider of ID spoofing services. For more information about spoofing, please visit .>

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Making Telecommuting Work For You, Part II

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Making Telecommuting Work For You, Part II

This article was published on 2011/08/22