Telecommuting offers compelling benefits for both workers and employers. Businesses can save nearly $8,000 annually for each telecommuter, according to Lister and Harnish. Plus, studies have found that telecommuters are more productive working from home than when working at the office. Employees also look for work from home situations. A study from the Families and Work Institute found that 87 percent of people surveyed said that flexible schedules that would let them better manage work and personal life would be “extremely” or “very” important.
A survey by Cisco found that a majority of teleworking respondents experienced a significant increase in work-life flexibility, productivity and overall satisfaction as a result of their ability to work remotely. However, working from home presents numerous challenges. The following are some key ways workers from home can be successful:
- Separate the Work from Home – Allocate a room dedicated to working. If you don’t have an extra room, make your desk your workspace. That way, when you enter the room or sit down at your desk, you know why you’re there: to do work. It changes the state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”. Make sure to close the door and send the signal to family that you’re working and shouldn’t be interrupted.
- Keep your desk and work area orderly – An uncluttered workspace makes for an uncluttered mind, which makes you more productive.
- Turn Off/Limit the Internet – When you need to work without distraction, disconnect the Internet and phone if possible. The Internet offers countless distractions that can pull you away from your work.
- Stay on Track by Planning – Create a daily to-do list that includes goals for big projects. Then, hold yourself accountable for meeting self-imposed deadlines, says Robert Half International.
- Log Off – Once you’re finished, don’t go back to work, unless of course there is a pressing project your boss is pressuring you about. “At the end of the day, shut off your computer and move to a different room,” says Robert Half. “This serves as a signal to leave ‘work’ and return ‘home.’” Some people even go for a quick errand or walk to officially end the day.