September 18, 2008

Working Remotely – The Positives and Negatives

In the September 2008 issue of Associations Now, Keith Skillman wrote a story about Successful Telecommuting, and did an excellent job writing about some of the things associated with working remotely.

As someone who has been doing so for the past two years, I wanted to add a few things to Keith's excellent story:

1. Handle the Four D's of Telecommuting
  • Discipline – The first ‘D’, discipline, is essentially knowing what needs done. If you can have good discipline and understand what needs to be done at which time, you are on the right track to having a successful situation. Discipline and time management go hand in hand to ensuring you're able to get your work done.
  • Diligence – This relates to getting your work done no matter what comes your way. If you work diligently, with all of the distractions that sometimes are there while working at home, you're all set.
  • Determination – If you are determined to work hard to complete the work, you are going to be able to effectively work remotely with little problem.
  • Distractions – As was discussed in the "diligence" point, there are going to be distractions while working remotely. It is all about limiting and managing the distractions that come your way to get your job done.

2. Be Sure the Folks at Home Support Your Telecommuting

  • Make sure expectations are set up front with not only the office, but also your roommates, spouses, kids, etc. Certain hours are your work hours, and laundry, dishes, and other household chores are not going to be done during those hours. The expectations need to be there so it's as if you are actually in an office as opposed to being in your home.

3. Leave Work at Work

  • As Keith mentions, it's important to have a designated place to do your work. After you're done working, leave that room and don't return! It's very tempting to continue to go back into the "office" to finish something up after the workday is over. Are your non-remote fellow employees doing this? Not likely, so it's not something you should be expected to do, nor should it be something you do regularly.

If you're thinking about telecommuting, and your organization allows it, think before you jump. After reading Keith's story and these few additional thoughts, be sure that you are someone who will thrive in this experience.

Remember, at the end of the day, it's YOU who has to be able to get the job done effectively no matter where you are working.

1 comment:

KeithS said...

Bruce--Thanks for the comments on the story--and for the very thoughtful additions here.