After much soul searching, you realized that working in a regular office was no longer a fit for your life. So you went on a search to find the perfect telecommuting job, one that would allow you to continue working in the career that you loved while being able to have a better work life balance—and you found one. The thing is, not everyone takes your work at home job seriously. Here’s how to get people to respect your telecommuting job—and you.
Set an example. If you want people to take your job seriously, you need to take your job seriously, too. But if you’re supposed to be working—and you’re actually gabbing with a neighbor in the cereal aisle at the supermarket—don’t be surprised if people question the validity of your work at home status. So lead by example: Work during your scheduled office hours and make your supermarket runs during your lunch hour instead.
Have an office space. You manage million dollar deals daily…from your kitchen countertop. You can’t get annoyed, then, if your kid comes up to you—in the middle of a phone call with your boss—and asks what’s for dinner. It’s imperative to have an office space when you work from home. It can be in a spare bedroom, a converted closet, or even the garage or attic. But you should find a spot that allows you to do all your work in one space—and preferably has a door for privacy. That way, your family will learn to respect your workspace and your job.
Talk about your accomplishments. Around the dinner table, your kids and your hubby talk about the highlights (and lowlights) of their day. As a work at home mom, you should chime right in with the exciting things that happened in your job, too. Let them know that your boss plans to implement your new marketing idea, which will help greatly with brand recognition. By promoting your accomplishments, you are showing to your entire family that your daily achievements are worth talking about—and celebrating, too.
Say no. You’re home, so naturally, you’re free to do extra errands for friends and family, right? Wrong. If your hubby asks you to make a quick run to the home improvement store to pick up items for his weekend warrior project, tell him (gently) that you can’t. You’re working. It can be hard to tell someone no—especially a loved one—but interruptions during your day can cause you to become less productive and lose your focus. Offer instead to run errands on the weekend together as a family.
Be professional. If you’re speaking with a prospective client on the phone but your kids are fighting in the background, it might be hard for her to take you seriously. Even though you (sometimes) work in PJ’s, you need to uphold a professional image—even when you’re working from home. That means having an office that you can have clients and colleagues come to, and working in the most professional manner possible. Try to stick to your schedule as often as you can, and get dressed for your workday, even if no one but your puppy Jake is going to see you. After all, being a professional work at home mom happens both outside—and inside—your home.
By treating yourself and your remote job with respect, you will soon have others respecting your work at home status, too.