We live in a digital world and the concepts of a daily commute or corporate cubicles can be a thing of the past for people who telecommute. What is telecommuting? It’s when an employee of a company can do their work from home.
This can be full-time at-home work or part-time, but the key is the ability to do almost all of one’s daily work activities from home. There is no need to visit the office or even have an office. While telecommuting is more popular than ever, it’s not as easy as it seems.
In today’s post, we’ll explain some of the best practices for telecommuting and how you can be more efficient:
What Is Telecommuting and Is it for Me?
There are some jobs that are more suited for telecommuting than others. Jobs that require the use of computers and online tools work best. If your job requires hands-on labor or to use assets only available at the office, then telecommuting would be difficult.
The digital world of today is suited for telecommuting because cloud storage, Internet use at home, and reasonably priced computers have made it possible for people to have everything they need without leaving their homes.
Telecommuters can connect with company assets and data via their Internet connection, password protected online servers, and company websites. Types of jobs that allow for telecommuting include sales and marketing, healthcare, education, customer service, and information technology.
If this sounds like your job or a type of living you want, then telecommuting might be right for you.
Reasons Businesses Offer Telecommuting:
With telecommuting jobs on the rise, companies understand the benefits of offering it to their employees, but not all companies. If you’re a business owner, then consider allowing your employees to work from home at least part-time.
How much money do you spend to rent or buy office space every year? Has your company grown, and you need to expand your office to accommodate new employees? Telecommuting decreases these costs substantially. You don’t need an office at all or you can have a small office to meet with clients, etc. and never worry about expanding. Since most of your employees work from home, you can hire new ones without expanding your office space.
Studies show employees will work for less money if telecommuting is an option for their job. You can also hire employees from anywhere in the world and not worry about them moving to the area. They can stay wherever they are, so your pool for potential employees grows.
Telecommuting and Efficiency:
If you’re planning on telecommuting, then you need to have a good work ethic and be efficient. One of the biggest motivators for in-office employment is the ability for the manager to make sure the work is done on time. You can’t procrastinate if there is a manager hanging over you that wants daily meetings. When you work from home, it’s more difficult to focus and work because you’re surrounded by the familiar.
Before telecommuting, the home was a place of leisure. It’s where you could forget about work and enjoy your family and the comforts of home. It can be difficult to shake that feeling when you need to work from home.
Don’t work in your pajamas or from your bed. Treat the telecommuting day as you would any other. Wake up, get dressed in work-appropriate clothes, and work from an at-home office area. This will help you focus on work time and not home time. If you can’t be efficient from home, then your company may not offer the option.
Working from home is great because it offers you flexibility, lower stress, and an atmosphere that you control. It also requires focus and discipline to get the necessary work done and not be distracted by the comforts of home.
Keeping Telecommuting Secure:
The biggest worry an employer has about their data is security. Your servers house everything about your company and customers and it needs to be secure, but how can you do that with telecommuting employees?
We’ve seen countless stories about data breaches in the news and you don’t want that to happen to you. You can provide your employees with computers that have security programs or provide them access to the security programs for at-home computers.
Access to data can be protected by passwords, but that may not be enough. You may need data encryption and other security measures to keep your data secure for telecommuting employees.
Beating the Telecommuting Blues:
At first, telecommuting seems amazing for employees. They don’t have to commute and still get paid without dealing with an office. After a while, the employees begin to miss having coworkers and may get cabin fever because they never seem to leave the house. Work friends and human interaction are important, and telecommuting removes that.
If you want to beat the telecommuting blues, then you need to continue having work relationships despite working from home. Video chat meetings via Zoom or other programs allows people to see their co-workers and chat about not only work but life as well.
Schedule time to leave the house during the week for fun activities with your friends. Have a drink after work or go see a movie. It’s important to maintain relationships when telecommuting or else it can be lonely.
Keep Employees in the Loop:
When dealing with telecommuting employees, the manager must remember to keep them in the loop. In offices where the employees are a mix of in-office and at-home, managers may forget to loop virtual workers in on meetings or changes to projects.
This not only hurts the business but also makes the telecommuting employees feel less important than those working in the office. You must maintain communication with telecommuters and provide the same feedback for projects, success, etc. that you would for those working in the office.
If you are considering working from home or letting your employees telecommute, use the tips above for the best success!