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Telecommuting – Starting with the Right Attitude

written by: Victoria E•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

Telecommuting success starts with the right attitude. Like any successful working arrangement, you have to be serious about succeeding, and plan for the ultimate achievement of that goal. Telecommuting statistics show that most efficient and productive telecommuters are visible and task oriented.

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    Key Mindsets for the Telecommuter

    Telecommuting is a serious and rewarding workstyle. It allows workers to focus on work tasks without normal office distractions. However, in order for that to be successful, you have to make sure you are not distracted by normal home distractions first. This is the concern of most employers – that telecommuters are not really working, they are just hanging out at home. As a serious telecommuter, it is imperative that you do all you can to dispel that concern. There are several things you can easily incorporate into your daily processes that will help to make you more successful.

    Telecommuting requires the right frame of mind. This is key to maintaining or increasing your level of productivity, and the quality, quantity, and timeliness of your work product. Knowing what you need to be a success, knowing what your employer expects of you, and knowing how to dispel your bosses fears, is the first cornerstone of success.

    Telecommute Institute, a resource for telecommuters and employers, says,

    “Companies that use or hire teleworkers are interested in serious workers. If you are going to compete in this market you will have to prove your medal.”

    In some ways, working from home is harder than going into the office every day. In the office, you can simply sit at your desk, do your work, and go home, just like everyone else. People see you, chat with you, and interact with you at the coffee station. If you simply sat at your home desk and did your work, you would be totally invisible. You must make an effort to interact, even virtually, via email, instant message, phone or conference call.

    To quote an old adage, "It isn't what you do, it is who sees you do it."

    So you will need to make sure that the work you do, and the time you spend is visible to others.

    Some more recommendations for a more Visible Attitude from Telecommute Institute to help you succeed:

    Success milestones. When making to-do lists, make sure you set goals with milestones and dates when you expect to finish them, and keep them. You will find that on-site workers can get away with hiding, laying low, or blending into the background. However, remote workers must go out of their way to be visibly working.

    Connect. Call, instant message, email, fax, text, whatever it takes, stay in contact with the boss and your team to ensure they know the status of all projects. Keep people in the loop. Ask questions, ask for input.

    See and Be Seen. If you work remote every day, schedule time in the office. Don’t be completely invisible. Show up for the team celebrations or Birthday Lunches - you ARE part of the team, so make an effort.

    It is all about visibility. If you do not have the mindset to make the effort to be visible, reachable, and available, you may want to think about your reasons to telecommute. Telecommuting is a serious responsibility, and workers who are allowed to work remotely should regard it as such, not an opportunity to disappear.

    For more ways to be a successful telecommuter read the other articles in this series.

    More ideas on being productive and being a successful telecommuter and Telemanager can be found at Telecommute Institute.