Want to learn how to successfully telecommute? Read these tips.

Digital Originals

(WFXR) — With coronavirus forcing the closure of most American offices, millions of Americans are now telecommuting.

For some, this isn’t anything new. They are used to telecommuting a day or two per week or maybe more. Some may only do it a month or two in the summer or around major holidays like Christmas and Easter. For others, this is a whole new experience and they don’t know where to start to ensure success.

There are several ways to be a successful telecommuter. In the last decade, I have telecommuted with many of my jobs wehther for a day or a few weeks. These are a few things I learned along the way:

  • Maintain regular hours. Sleeping until the very last minute will not help you, it will hurt you. My alarm always goes off at the same time each weekday. That does not mean I don’t hit snooze a time or two, but I always have it set to wake me. It’s important to wake, shower, eat breakfast, and complete your other morning tasks just like any other workday.
  • Dress for success. Would I walk into the WFXR newsroom wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and a hat? No, and you shouldn’t do that when telecommuting. When you get ready in the morning (or evening, depending on your job), dress as you would for a day at the office. It will get you in the right mindset.

TeleworkVA has several more tips to be a successful telecommuter.

  • Location: Identify an appropriate workspace in your home.
  • Schedule: Your schedule should be clearly defined in your employer’s telework agreement.
  • Routine: Without a daily commute to the office, teleworkers may wish to create a new morning ritual to help prepare for their workday at home.
  • Create A Daily “To-Do” List: Plan your work assignments before teleworking.
  • Stick to Deadlines: Treat deadlines exactly as you would if you were working in the office.
  • Maintain Communication With Your Office: Continual communication will reassure your manager and coworkers that you don’t have to be in the office to be contributing to the work.
  • Be Seen at Work Functions: For the sake of interoffice rapport and job security, make every attempt to attend office gatherings and group meetings. (This is challenging during this time of self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Use Skype, Zoom Meetings, or other methods to “be seen” by your co-workers.)
  • Teleworking is a fairly modern concept that family and neighbors may misunderstand as, “not really working.” Hold a family meeting and develop a list of mutually agreed upon interruptions that are allowed.

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