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Do You Telecommute? Learn How to Be More Productive

written by: •edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/9/2011

If you are considering telecommuting, congratulations! Just make sure you understand some of the barriers associated with telecommuting and productivity. Before you get started with your telecommuting, read these simple tips to help you ensure that you are as productive as possible.

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    Telecommuting Requires Focus and Motivation

    procrastination Many of us get up every morning and head into our brick and mortar jobs, spend eight hours there, and then make the commute home. However, these days, large and small companies alike are electing to offer their employees the option of telecommuting. While this might sound like a great idea, not everyone is cut out for telecommuting and in fact, it can put a serious damper on your career plans. Telecommuting presents some unique challenges in your productivity. Without the proper focus and motivation, you may be shocked to learn that you are not as productive working at home as you were in the office.

    To ensure that you remain productive while telecommuting, these simple tips can make sure that you are working, meeting your goals and deadlines and continuing your successful career from the comfort of your home. In order to continue being successful while telecommuting, supervisors and managers are going to want to make sure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner. This can only be accomplished if a telecommuter has a set schedule that they work with and that they meet all of their normal obligations as if they were in the office.

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    Telecommuting Productivity Tips

    It is really easy to get distracted when you work at home. checklist Before you begin telecommuting, make sure that friends and family members understand that even though you will be at home that you are working. Let them know ahead of time what your work hours are and that you can't be disturbed during that time, except for emergencies. This can help you stay on track and be more productive. Here are some other helpful tips on telecommuting and productivity:

    • Do not change your morning routine - Continuing to rise at the same time each morning will keep you on track and help you be more productive.
    • Dress for work - Although it may be seriously tempting to hang out in your pajamas or bathrobe, dress for work. There is no need to dress in a business suit of course but, do not stay in your nightwear.
    • Eat Breakfast - One of the worse things you can do is not eat breakfast as you normally would. Failure to eat can result in a mid-morning "crash" that can cause you to quality production time.
    • Schedule your breaks - Just because you are telecommuting does not mean that you have to be glued to your work from the time you wake in the morning until the time you go to bed at night. In fact, you should follow (as much as possible) your daily work schedule including your breaks. Remember, taking time away from your work will help you focus better when you come back.
    • Avoid distractions - One of the mistakes that many telecommuters make is thinking that they have more time to get their work accomplished. This isn't always true, especially with the number of distractions you are likely to run into. Make sure that your work area is away from the usual distractions of home including the television. Otherwise, you may find that these distractions are making a serious impact on your productivity.

    Telecommuting may allow you to be more productive if your desire is to eliminate the stress of commuting. Using these simple tips on telecommuting and productivity can help you stay on track. As more companies make the effort to offer telecommuting to their employees, productivity often becomes a problem. In many cases, those who telecommute are more productive since they are not prone to as much "water cooler" talk as their in-house co-workers. However, distractions can impact telecommuter productivity if they are not managed. Learning how to manage distractions, staying on a regular schedule and making the most of your work time will benefit both the telecommuter and the company they work for.

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    Resources

    Sources:

    1. MSNBC - The Quiet Revolution
    2. Telework.Gov - Resources for Employees

    Image credits:

    • Slumped over desk: Purchased via istockphoto/OneO2
    • Checklist purchased via Istockphoto/skvoor