The 90 Days Column ($) in today’s Wall Street Journal has a few pointers for those who are thinking about working from home. Their points along with my thoughts:
Prepare yourself psychologically. If you’re used to being around people, working from home can feel quite lonely.
Take yourself — and your job — seriously. Refrain from slouching around in your pajamas. Getting dressed will do wonders for your motivation. The author even suggests having a specific place in your home for work and use that place only for that purpose.
Avoid isolation. Stay connected with your co-workers. Otherwise it’s out-of-sight-out-of-mind and that could be bad for your future.
Acknowledge your successes. This is a good point. The article’s author recommends throwing a party or meeting a friend for a drink to celebrate an accomplishment.
Reach out to your colleagues. This point seems to go along with the “avoid isolation” point above. I like the idea of trying to meet a colleague for lunch once a month.
Keep your options open. As the article suggests, one of the advantages of working from home is the ability to network with people from other companies to keep abreast of what’s going on in the job market. You never know if an opportunity will open up. Just make sure you’re not networking when you’re supposed to be working.
To those points, I would like to add:
Separate work hours from home hours. Although it may seem like an advantage to working from home, the ability to work at any time is actually a bad thing if you don’t practice some discipline. It takes effort to work from 9AM to 5PM and have family time during the other hours. If you get into the habit of working all hours of the day, it will mess things up. As a blogger, this is an area I struggle with.
Overall, these are some great things to think about if you are thinking about becoming a telecommuter.