How to Telework: 6 Tips for Being Productive from Home
Cómo teletrabajar: 6 consejos para ser productivo desde casa

How to Telecommute: 6 Tips for Being Productive from Home

Once considered an afterthought, telecommuting is becoming the norm for a growing number of companies. It’s a necessity, but many employers also see it as a smart recruitment and retention strategy. For employees, the flexibility that telecommuting offers can be life-changing: it allows them to avoid the stress of commuting and long hours at the office, stay home to care for children or other family members, and better manage life at home.

If you are one of the growing number of professionals planning to work exclusively from home, you should make a plan and talk to your boss about solutions that will help you overcome potential obstacles. Here are seven tips to help you be productive without compromising your work-life balance.

Be proactive and create a list of your priorities for the day with short-term goals for important projects, and then do your best to achieve them. Dive into your list first thing in the morning, when everyone else is still asleep at home: this will also give you time to focus on your strategy for the day.

1. Stick to your schedule and take breaks at set times

If you start and stop working at the same times each day, your work won’t spill over into what is supposed to be your break time. By incorporating scheduled breaks, you will be more productive and have more energy throughout your workday. Breaks also give you the opportunity to reevaluate your goals for the day and make necessary changes.

2. Maintain regular communication with online meetings or video conferences

Ask your boss for a specific time to review, ask questions and update you on projects. The more you communicate with your colleagues remotely, the more connected the team will feel. It’s worth scheduling a short team meeting – say, every other Friday – to chat and catch up, like a virtual coffee break.

3. Manage your workload and deliver on objectives

When you get the go-ahead to work from home, don’t be afraid to communicate too much with your boss during the first few weeks of telecommuting. Let them know what goals you have already achieved and what you have set for the next few days. Remember to make a list of your priorities for the next day, so you don’t forget anything when you return to work the next morning.

4. Stay connected and protected by your company against security breaches

If you don’t have everything you need to work, talk to your boss. Online collaboration tools like Teams, Skype, Slack and Google Hangouts can help remote workers connect instantly. Similarly, a centralized calendar where team members share their telecommuting schedules makes it easier to move projects along.

5. Limit distractions by creating a dedicated space for work

Even if it’s not an office, it should be away from distractions like kids, pets and TV. Feel like grocery shopping or cleaning? Stick to your work schedule, just as you would if you were in the office. Take care of housework and other household responsibilities only during your breaks or fixed time slots.

6. Take time for yourself and your family

It is essential that you set clear boundaries between your work and private life to find the right balance. Share these expectations with anyone who is at home when you work. Telecommuting requires a lot of discipline. In terms of quality and results, there should be no difference between the work you do in the office and the work you do at home.

You also need to know when to “shut down” for a day and take care of family life. Establish a routine and a way of doing things that is satisfactory to you and your employer, and then stick to it as strictly as you would if you were in the office.

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