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Telecommuting – Avoiding Bad Habits

written by: Victoria E•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/11/2012

Telecommuters, consultants, and freelancers all face the same temptations - the trick is to be aware of these temptations and develop good habits instead. Set yourself up for success by heading off these habits, and starting your own positive, productive and motivating habits instead!

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    Having the opportunity to work remotely, whether as a freelancer, a consultant, or as a telecommuter, workers all face the same temptations when working from home. In order to have a successful telecommuting experience, it is important to be aware of these temptations and strive to develop good habits when telecommuting and beware of overindulgences.

    Here is a list of the most commonly encountered areas of concern.

    Actually working too hard - burn out – Make sure you're taking enough breaks and don't turn into a workaholic because work is always there or you are always at work. Begin and end the workday in a timely manner. Schedule a few breaks throughout the workday. On the other hand, don't develop bad work habits and do less work than before. As mentioned in the article, Telecommuting – setting up for success, make sure you have an official start and stop to your work day.

    Procrastinating – For self starters and the self motivated, not usually a recurring problem, but for those who struggle with delivering work on time, it could be detrimental to your telecommuting career.

    Snacking too often – This one is easy to fall into. However, instead of trying to steer clear of the kitchen, make a thermos of coffee or tea and bring it to your office, and bring with you a bowl of grapes, or a plate of apples and cheese. You can nibble and work, and never worry about cookie guilt.

    Sleeping late – You must stay on a routine, as mentioned in the article, Telecommuting – setting up for success, use a routine to get you up, not just the need to go to work, for example, start the day with a bike ride, a workout, a trip to the gym, a drive to the coffee shop for a special telecommuting latte.

    Talking on the phone too long – We often chat on the phone in the office, but usually keep it short because people can hear us. At home, that is not a problem. But the problem is, it cuts into your productivity, thereby making you have to work harder to reach the goals or milestones you may have agreed to meet. Also, if people know you are available for long chats on the phone, they will call often and help you prolong this bad habit.

    Watching TV – The morning news program can be informative and even beneficial to begin your work day, but if it drags into the daytime programming, and is taking your attention away from your tasks, you have let it get out of hand.

    Wearing pajamas all day – isn’t that one of the benefits of working from home? Well, in a way, however, just as secretaries and customer service agents are taught to smile when answering the phone, even though people can’t see you, they can hear it in your voice. Wearing pjs doesn’t make you feel professional, and if you don’t feel like a professional, you aren’t going to act or talk, or make deals like one. So try a polo shirt with the bunny slippers and meet yourself somewhere in the middle.

    For more common pitfalls, check out the article, Telecommuting – Common Pitfalls and Solutions. These habits are detrimental to telecommuting. Remove all possible temptations so you can conduct business. The key to successful telecommuting lies in not only being able to manage your workspace and your job, but also your family members, neighbors, and yourself. With some determination, discipline, commitment, you and your company can have a successful telecommuting experience. Keep in mind, there were rules in the office, and you'll need to set new rules for working at home to stay productive and successful.