Working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option for the modern worker, but telecommuters new to the game can increase their chances for success by becoming aware of the common mistakes that often plague new telecommuters.
1. Poor Time Management
Working from home is very different from working in an office. You may sit at a desk and work on your computer, but in contrast to being at the office for 8 hours or more per day, working at home comes with built-in distractions. Some telecommuters may find it difficult to get up for a break without getting involved in some household chore. This is why it is often difficult to separate home life from personal life while working from home. Having an office space with a door that is separate from the rest of the house is one way of dealing with this issue. Also, being very strict with yourself about not doing house work while you are on the clock is a good way to stay on task.
2. Failing to Address Security Issues in Advance
Before you begin working from home, you need to have all the necessary software and equipment in place. Instead of attempting to work this out as you go along, which could result in intranet security breaches or unwanted viruses via your home computer, have your company install quality anti-virus software and make certain that your Internet connection is secured with a password. Find out how your company wants you to interface, whether it be via email or some other interface.
3. Disconnection and Isolation
It may be your goal to never set foot inside your company office again. However, this may put a strain on your professional relationships. If this is your intent, find ways to keep in touch with colleagues and coworkers through frequent emails, or by meeting for lunch or coffee occasionally to go over important matters requiring a face to face meeting.
Getting out for meetings actually solves two potential problems that telecommuters experience. It enables you to stay connected with the happenings at your workplace, and it keeps you connected with other people. Working from home can become very isolating and may not be a good fit for those with extroverted tendencies.
4. Neglecting to Set Goals
Failing to set goals for yourself may make your job a drag. If you are constantly unaware of projects and tasks that need to be completed or waiting for the boss to tell you what to do, then you probably aren't being very productive. Both setting goals and managing time well are inherent to telecommuting.
A good way to be certain you are getting your work done on schedule is to create reasonable daily and weekly work deadlines for yourself. Not only will you be more productive, but it is always less stressful to know in advance exactly what you need to do, even if you make small adjustments to your goals throughout the week.
New telecommuters can fall prey to many types of home office mistakes from poor time management to isolation to office security issues. It is important to be aware of and iron out the potential problems before you begin working from home.