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Remote Possibilities – Working from Home, Part 2

If you’re among the growing number of workers who’ve been given the opportunity to work from home, or the growing number of employers who are granting such permission, good for you: telecommuting can save a great deal of time sitting in traffic and can be a great recruiting tool for employers.

Done right, a telecommuting arrangement can be a huge plus for both worker and company. But there are pitfalls, and it takes some preparation to make a work-from-home arrangement as productive as possible. We covered tips for employers in this previous post; here are some important considerations for you if you’re joining the work-from-home force.

Dress for Success. Nope, the client on the other end of the phone will never know that you’re wearing sweatpants and bunny-feet slippers. But you will, and it’s a proven fact that how you dress affects how you perceive yourself and how you perform. Go ahead and choose business casual if you like, but dress and groom as though you were headed for the office.

Clear the Decks. Plan ahead to avoid distractions during the day, just as you would in a normal office workday. Take care of pets or other household needs before you begin and limit your time spent on non-work-related items like TV and web surfing. Working from home requires some discipline, and while you might get away with some extra personal stuff in the short term, that loss of productivity will be noticed over time.

Take a Break. “Wait, you just told me to stay focused!” Yes, you need to be disciplined, but plan and schedule breaks as well for the sake of your posture, your eyesight and your general productivity. Set alarms or pop-ups reminders to make sure you stand up and move around every now and then.

Assess and Evaluate. This is for both you and your manager: periodically review how things are going with your new arrangement. Are you as productive as you had hoped to be? Have there been unforeseen problems or distractions, and what can be done to improve things? A dose of honesty from both sides is called for here: if you feel that working at home is negatively affecting your performance or making you feel disconnected from your team, be sure to say so.

Questions about telecommuting or other benefits? Contact Consolidated Insurance.

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