A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Choosing to Telecommute
Dear Sue: I am looking at making some changes in my work and
looking at a job with the option of doing my work at home. I like the idea
of working at home some of the time, but Iím not sure how I feel about
never having to leave the house again. Does working at home work for most
people? Homeward Bound
Sue Says: The thought of working at home is appealing to most people,
and for good reason. The thought of having more time to spend at home with
family is at the top of the list. While many women make the decision to
work at home to be with their young children, it can be challenging when
you have small children at home with you.
When people look at the amount of time spent commuting, going to work
without ever stepping out of the house is a time saver and a stress
reducer. The pace is slower; you arenít burdened with people problems, and
have more time to yourself.
If you are used to working alone, motivated to do your work, and a
self-disciplined, then youíll probably do just fine. However, if you
thrive on the energy of others, are easily distracted, have trouble
prioritizing, and difficulty setting boundaries with others, your stress
level might go up instead of down.
Before you make a decision, evaluate yourself:
- Do you have enough self-discipline to set, and stick to, a regular work
schedule? Will you be able to resist doing other, non work related tasks,
and get your work done during work hours?
- Will you be motivated to get up and get to work with no time clock to
punch, and no one to reprimand you if you donít start work on time?
- Will you able to say no when friends and family try to make you feel
guilty for working instead of paying attention to them?
Your success will depend upon the environment you choose; is your home
set up for a home office? Do you have space to create a designated work
area that will be off limits to everyone but you?
Set yourself up to succeed. Consider the following:
- Install a phone line designated as your business line. You are the only
one who should answer this phone.
- Set up voice mail.
- Create an e-mail address specifically for your business
- Get up at the same time each day.
- Establish regular work hours and breaks; begin and end your day on time
and try not to work during non-working hours.
- Keep your work area clean and tidy.
- Shower, shave, do your hair, and get dressed for work each day. Not only
will you be prepared if you need to run out to deliver something or attend
an impromptu meeting, but you will feel more like working than lounging
when youíre out of your pajamas and wearing regular clothes.
- Stay involved; attend networking and other industry-related events, and
get out for breakfast or lunch and stay connected with people.
There are millions of people who have made the decision to work from
home, and more and more people are joining them by doing the same. It may
be challenging at times, but you can make it work if you want it to.
Youíll never know if you donít give it a try.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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