Everyone imagines themselves teleworking from home in their pajamas and not having to endure the hassle of showing, getting dressed in business clothing and then getting in a car or mass transit to commute to work.
However, sometimes you miss the day to day conversation that happens with your coworkers.
I found that the longer the length I have telecommuted, going on 13 years, the more conversation I missed including drama at the water cooler. I just wanted to hear gossip. There are in office conversations that occur to bring better understanding to your job.
With the onset of increased air pollution and the number of employers and employees agreeing on beneficial elements of working at home the more this scenario will happen.
Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom has definitive data which he exploits the benefits of working from home.
The one-size-fits-all approach does not always apply when it comes to teleworking. Successful teleworking depends on such components as your work habits, your personality, your career goals, and even the company culture of your employer.
To see if you are going to be successful at teleworking you may want to ask yourself a few questions.
- Can you accomplish your job at home?
The very best telecommuting jobs are frequently the ones that call for a peaceful space to research, read and review information without distraction and interruption. Teleworking, for instance, is an all-natural fit if your work is online. There are additionally remote jobs in bookkeeping, accounting, sales, clinical transcription, as well as customer and client support and service.
A number of these jobs are performed in a home office by freelance and contract workers. By their nature, these positions typically call for the face time associated with hobnobbing around the workplace, managing employees or physically sitting in meetings.
If you need to be physically in the office to perform your work, chances are slim to none you will be able to transition to telework full-time. The most you might be able to negotiate with your supervisor is an occasional work-from-home day.
- Do you have what it takes to telework?
To work from home routinely, the skills you will need is to be 1) organized, 2) disciplined, 3) a self-starter, and 4) time management and prioritization skills. You will work harder than you do in the office
because you will have a hard time separating work and home life. The office somehow thinks they can call you any time day or night. Boundaries are a requirement, learn how to say no. I have found over the years that I move to different places in the house to work to get a change of scenery. Coffee shops have been my office away from my home office more than once. I also have my office an a separate room so I can close the door at the end of the day.
- Can you communicate well?
Your communication skills will need to be top notch. Your skills need to be refined so that you can communicate via phone, email and video conferencing. Top of the line internet will be required as well as other items like a nice camera, headset, and microphone. You will need a web-based meeting program such as Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Join. Me, TeamViewer or Google+ Hangouts. I have found it depends on the customer or client. It could even be dictated by what your company or IT department prefers.
You cannot be unfamiliar with technology if you intend to telework. Teleworkers need to navigate all kinds of technical problems and troubleshoot. There is no IT department down the hall. You are on your own.
A supervisor doesn’t like to hear about ongoing “technical difficulties.” Find out where that geek squad lives, works and breathes.
Is teleworking as good as physically being in the office?
Teleworking full-time might cause a situation where you miss out on the brainstorming; collaboration let’s face it, brown nosing. You will also miss out on the non-verbal communication that happens with a raised eyebrow or smirk. Just like text messaging you cannot get the full intent of the sender in words alone.
Some coworkers may be jealous of your situation if they are navigating the mass transit and daycare every day to get to the office. One fundamental way to avoid this is to attend on-site meetings as much as possible. , Continue going to non business events, meals, and cocktails with your coworkers. Support your coworker promotion, family and retirement ceremonies.
If you think teleworking is a good fit, then try and convince your supervisor and your employer.
Efficiency reasons and saving the company money should be at the top of your persuasive argument.
Prepare a proposal that explains what your work schedule would be, the number of hours you would work, and your home office setup including technology. You will also want to lay out exactly when and how often you will physically be in the office. For instance, you may state once a week or when new products are launched or any other problems the company is trying to solve that need your expertise.
At the end of the proposal, ask for a trial period of two to six months, so you, your supervisor and your employer will see how the arrangement works. The arrangement may need some fine tuning to work out the details.
If you are a good worker and you think teleworking would be a good fit for you then convince your boss with a proposal and a solid work ethic. The happiest people are those that find where their work environment is most productive and happy.
This blog was written by Linda Rawson, who is the founder of DynaGrace Enterprises (dynagrace.com) and the inventor of WeatherEgg (weatheregg.com). She, along with her daughter, Jennifer Remund is the mother-daughter duo of 2BizChicks (2Bizchicks.com). For further information, please connect with Linda on LinkedIn, or contact her at (800) 676-0058 ext 101.