The ability to telecommute is on the rise and getting more popular each year. Working from home is a great alternative, but it does have it’s share of challenges. Here are 5 best practices for telecommuting employees to help you balance being productive and working from home.
I train a lot of employees and organizations on reasonable accommodations for Autoimmune Disease. Working from home or telecommuting is the gold standard of reasonable accommodations for a multitude of reasons.
There are also plenty of other reasons like going green, city traffic, snow days, and the occasional pandemic.
A 2017 Gallup report stated that 43% of employees work remotely, even if just on occasion. The U.S. federal government even passed the 2010 U.S. Telework Enhancement Act to give authorization of and encourage the federal workforce to participate.
With technology becoming more advanced, it’s getting easier and easier to work remotely.
5 Best Practices for Telecommuting Employees
While these are great best practices for telecommuting employees, it’s not for everyone. I am one of those people who love a quiet house and can just put my head down and work all day. My Hubby, on the other hand, while one of the hardest workers I know, needs to be around people and have that collaborative environment.
If you’ve been at this for a while or are trying out telework for the first time, here are 5 best practices to consider.
1. Set Clear Expectations
Make sure there is a written agreement in place with your manager on the expectations of working from home. Especially if this is a new arrangement, always go above and beyond to minimize any doubt or fear on their end.
How many days of the week will I be telecommuting?
What hours of the day will I be working?
How often do I check-in with my manager and/or team and via what method?
2. Have the Right Technology
Most everyone will have the basics like a computer and a phone. Ask if you will need anything else like a printer, webcam or special software for team collaboration.
3. Establish a Dedicated Office Space
You don’t need a home office to work, but you do need a dedicated office space. Guest bedrooms are the gold standard of dual-use spaces. Dining rooms are a close second. Worst case, even if you have to set up a temporary space in a corner of the bedroom, create a space that is just for you and your work.
Make sure you have some kind of desk or equivalent and comfortable chair, and enough space to spread out your work papers and items.
It’s important to have a dedicated workspace that you don’t have to move or that gets in the way of family life.
4. Set Boundaries
It can be extremely difficult and tempting to co-mingle your work and home life when you work from home. Dishes, laundry, errands, kids… the list never ends, and when you work from home, it’s now staring at you… taunting you.
Communicate to your family the plan and your boundaries. Let them know your work schedule, and to take you working from home as seriously as you would be in the office. If you are allowed to take a longer lunch break to handle personal items, be sure to work extra at the beginning or end of the day to get all of your hours in.
Don’t assume that your plan will work immediately. Take a few days and figure out what works best for you and then stick to your boundaries.
5. Maximize Peak Productivity
Working from home gives you a unique perspective on maximizing your productivity. I help to teach women with chronic illness how to still be productive with these mindful hacks, and many others have found them useful too! Use this time to your advantage and capitalize on your peak productivity hours to get your best work accomplished!
Are you Inspired?
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