You’ve been thinking that you’d like to telecommute, but is working from home the right option for you? The most successful telecommuters have certain traits in common. So before you decide about whether to telecommute, here are some traits you’ll need to successfully work from home.
When you are working in a company office, systems are in place and there are policies and procedures that you have to follow. Have a specific space in your home that is your office, a space just for you, so that you can keep your files organized and easy to access. Make sure you also have all the equipment and right technologies to complete your work. And you have to separate your work and home schedules, priorities and tasks.
Are you capable of completing projects without a boss watching over your shoulder? Can you meet deadlines without a reminder from others? Do you have enough experience working independently so that you do not need constant feedback from your boss? Will you be able to get out of bed when the weather is dreary and when all you want to do is curl up in bed with a good book? When you are disciplined and self-motivated, you get up and get dressed like you were going to the real office, you find solutions, without always relying on others, and you are on top of your workload and deadlines.
When you work from home, you are open to many distractions, therefore maintaining focus can be an ongoing battle unless you establish guidelines to work by. Additionally, you have to have to have the personality of someone who completes the projects that she starts. You will keep working until the project is done because you refuse to fail.
There may be times when you have to work evenings and weekends to complete important projects that will impact the company’s bottom-line. But set yourself up for success by establishing boundaries, and letting your boss know when and how much you are prepared to work. Additionally, it is more difficult to stay in touch/stay visible when working from home so take the initiative and responsibility to regularly touch base with your boss and colleagues to keep them and yourself in the loop.
When you work from home you have to rely on email and the phone so you need to have excellent communication skills. When you receive an email that is not clear, you have to take up the phone and make a call to get clarification, which is faster than trying to resolve it by email.
Now that you know what it takes to successfully work remotely, is it the right option for you? If it is, read the post.