Thousands of employees, especially those who endure a long daily commute, daydream about the perks associated with teleworking. Some of which are infrequent or no commuting, increased productivity, flexible schedule, and the ability to do work in your pajamas if you so choose. The latter is not recommended, however!
While working at home definitely has its benefits, there are some challenges to this increasingly common work arrangement. To become a successful teleworker, consider:
Get it in writing.
If you're new to telework, it's likely you and your boss have discussed your new work plan in detail. Before you begin teleworking, both parties should sign a written document describing the plan. The document might include topics such as the off-site work location, management style, work schedule, method of communication, evaluation, and estimated length of time. Employers and employees can use it as a reference, helping to eliminate any future confusion or miscommunication regarding work expectations. If your employer doesn't provide one, try to document the discussion.
Create a routine.
Improve your chances of telework success by creating a routine and sticking to it. After all, you'll need to work a certain amount of hours each week to accomplish your work goals. Get up at the same time every day, take a shower, and get dressed. Schedule regular breaks. Treat your teleworking arrangement as if it were just another day at the office.
Sometimes, friends and family think that because you work at home, you're not really working. Without meaning to, they can become a constant source of interruption and sabotage your teleworking success. Talk with friends and family about your work schedule. Establish "work time" and "family time." If necessary, make childcare arrangements. One teleworking father found that wearing a sign, which read "Daddy’s working," helped his two young girls understand when he was available for playtime.
Because teleworkers are not directly supervised, they run the risk of being overlooked when it comes time for raises, training opportunities, and promotion. Make it a point to communicate with your manager and other coworkers at least once a day.
Join a professional club or civic organization. Or, play an intramural sport, join a book club, or get involved at your child's school. All of the above can prevent feelings of isolation associated with teleworking.