Becoming a telecommuter requires you to make certain changes to your work routine. The hours and place in which you work will need to be altered to fit your new circumstances. Below are a few tips to make the transition to working at home easier.
Create an Office
A dedicated office space is essential for any telecommuter. Clear out a desk or table and dedicate it solely to being your office. Make sure you have the essentials you will need to be efficient, such as a printer, fax machine, paper, stapler, computer and anything else necessary for your job. A dedicated office space is just as important for your state of mind as it is for your productivity. Whenever you enter that space, you should turn your mind solely to working. When away from that space, you are free to do other things around the house. Separating yourself from the rest of the house will assist you in actually working and not becoming distracted.
It is also important that other family members realize that this space is your office and that it is not to be used for other tasks. Also, make it clear that when you are in the office, you are not to be bothered except for an emergency.
Make a Schedule
Telecommute workers may or may not need to work during actual office hours. While this flexibility is a huge benefit for employees, it can also make it difficult to force yourself to work. Make a schedule that clearly identifies the times you will be working, when you will take breaks and when you will be away from the office. This will help you to balance the need to be at work with the benefits of being able to do other things during the day.
It's unfortunate but true that many telecommute workers may face accusations of not working. To avoid this and to protect yourself in the future, keep records of when and on what you worked. If need be, you will be able to present these records to refute allegations of skipping out on work.
Do Not Take Time Off
The transition from being a regular employee to a telecommute worker can be extremely fun and make it very tempting to take time off during the transition. Since you no longer need to go to the office, you might want to take the mornings or even entire days off from work to fully experience this freedom. However, doing this may make you behind at work and could even create a pattern of you spending too much time away from your desk on a regular basis. To ease the transition from working in an office to working at home, stick to a strict schedule of completing a full workday. Furthermore, in the future, take no more than two mornings off in a row.
Believe it or not, you may eventually become lonely when working at home. To prevent this, keep in contact with other employees, even those that are also working at home, and make efforts to get out of the house every once in awhile.