If offered the opportunity to telecommute, most people would likely be thrilled to answer yes. Telecommuting offers working professionals a lot of benefits. Some of these include increased productivity, a state of well-being, overall satisfaction, and cost savings.
Even though telecommuting has so many perks, it’s not for everyone. The professionals most likely to succeed in this situation tend to be self-disciplined, self-motivated, confident, and resourceful.
It’s important to honestly evaluate your personality and requirements before committing to a telecommuter position. Some important questions to ask yourself when evaluating are:
- Will I miss the social interaction of an office?
- Do I have the space that I need?
- Am I organized enough to be productive?
- Can I avoid distractions?
- Do I need the support of people around me to accomplish my goals?
Challenges of Telecommuting
Telecommuting can be challenging. It can be especially challenging for those who enjoy interaction, instant communication, and separation of work from personal space. Some common telecommuting challenges are listed below.
Lack of face-to-face interaction
Things can get lost along the way when nonverbal cues aren’t available. Emotions aren’t easily understood via email or messaging. And, you can’t just pop around the corner to someone’s office and ask for advice.
Telecommuting can be rather lonely
If you’re a people person, spending the majority of your day alone can be hard.
To prove trust and capability, people will work much harder. Consequently, they’ll follow an unrealistic schedule to make up for telecommuting. This makes it difficult to separate work from personal time and space.
Benefits of Telecommuting
Encourages work-life balance
Telecommuters waste less time prepping to get out the door. They also spend less time commuting, and therefore dealing with the stress of traffic. Less time on the road means more time to focus on personal things like family, home, and development. This in turn can generate higher satisfaction and happiness. As a result, telecommuters enjoy increased productivity and overall well-being.
When distractions and interruptions from office chatter disappear, you will focus better and achieve more.
Creates significant cost savings
Telecommuters have less car and gas expenses. They can also save on environmental and personal costs. Less driving also results in less personal risk from accidents, severe weather travel, and car breakdowns.
If telecommuting seems like a good option for you, let’s take a look at how you can maximize your success with it.
Tips for Telecommuter Success:
Set a schedule
Be sure to share it with your boss, team, and clients so everyone knows your working hours.
Setup a dedicated place to work
Design your environment in a comfortable, ergonomic, and well-lit way. Also, be sure to have all the equipment and resources needed to do your job effectively. As a result, you’ll set yourself up to deliver your best work.
Set yourself up for success by eliminating those things that can destroy your focus. If you notice something is pulling you away from your work, readjust your home office. This will prevent home life from stealing your attention, therefore increasing your focus.
Voice communication is a powerful way to stay in touch. Often, emotions lose their meaning in email and messaging. Scheduling regular web video/call conferences with your boss and team are a great way to keep yourself in the loop. This will help you to remain involved in the conversations, planning, and actions, especially when you’re not physically there.
Always be ready to answer a call, email, or message in a timely manner during work hours. Doing this is crucial to building trust with your boss, team, and clients.
Putting your best foot forward will serve you well. So, act professional and always with a passion to over deliver on projects. Do your work. Do it to the best of your ability. Be creative and confident. Prove you are trustworthy and capable of doing great work, even when no one sees you doing it.
Under-promise and over-deliver
Set your expectations conservatively. But, be sure to aim high in results.
If things go wrong and pressure builds, take a breath. Decide steps to prove you are a creative, take-action person. Come up with solutions independently.
Earning a professional master’s degree can help you achieve better work-life balance. It can help you take your career to the next level and give you the flexibility of telecommuting.