Telecommuting continues to rise greatly in popularity around the globe. Many companies are becoming more aware of the cost-saving potential of having employees work part or even full-time from home. With video conferencing and doc sharing abilities, combined with smaller office space needed this newer work model seems to be beneficial to employers. Plus eliminating the need to commute by car or public transport can save quite a bit of time and money for workers. Still, not every organisation can adopt such a plan—and not all employees may be able to handle such relative freedom effectively. Yet for those who can remain productive whilst working from home, the chance to telecommute could easily factor in as a substantial workplace benefit.
Setting up a home office can be done fairly inexpensively. Though some things such as a proper chair with lumbar support and an adjustable desk are well worth the money. If space allows create an office in a room that is used for no other purpose, so as to eliminate potential distractions. One placed in a quiet corner of the home is ideal. In addition to internet coverage, a printer and fax machine may be needed, depending on job type. If top-notch printing quality is not a concern then one of those all-in-one machines should do the trick, though remember that with expediency comes less quality with each individual feature.
Depending on the type of work, it may be advisable to have both a land line and a mobile phone so that faxes can get through whilst in a conference call. Owning both a laptop and a desktop could prove beneficial if wanting to work away from home.
In addition to possessing all the appropriate gear, also do whatever tricks necessary to maintain a professional mindset. That means getting out of pyjamas and being bright-eyed and clearheaded each day. Discipline is not the only important factor—one must also learn to manage time effectively, your and your family’s. Be sure to have an arrangement with other family members so that everyone respects work time. Also plan accordingly so that calls can be taken in a professional manner. That may mean hiring a sitter even when one is technically home but telecommuting is not the same as having a day off. Though working from home can feel like winning the lottery it is a luxury only afforded to employees who can truly handle such freedom and responsibility.
Once one’s space is set up with all the basics an office would need, make it a point to come up with a filing system that is both professional and easy to remember. That goes for hard copies, computer documents, images, etc. A good filing system will save both time and frustration when all documents are easy to locate. It also just sounds professional when on the phone with others if all needed components are easy to find. Also make sure that any beverages on the desk have a lid and try to avoid eating messy foods whilst at work because a surprise request for a hard copy of a chocolate-stained report could prove very embarrassing.
One of the greatest challenges of working from home is to keep focused and productive throughout scheduled business hours. With social media right at hand on smartphones, not to mention one’s bed and television it can be all too easy to shirk duties to the point of missing deadlines or falling behind on a project.
Some may find it beneficial to set up a rewards system for so many hours worked, whereas others may do best to put nose to the grindstone and keep going without stopping. Whichever suits, don’t forget to listen to body aches and pains saying it’s time to stand, stretch and take in some fresh air. When done right, working from home can be both productive and enjoyable.