Teleworking is a growing trend within many corporations. Employees are able to work from home by connecting to their employer’s computer system. The employee’s work files and email are usually available ensuring that they are never out of the corporate loop. Meetings are also conducted remotely through conference calls.
Smart Commute encourages workplaces to promote teleworking and other alternative work arrangements that eliminate commuting during peak travel periods. We are currently developing teleworking policies and procedures to make teleworking programs simple and easy to implement for our clients.
If you are interested in telecommuting but are unable to create a home-work balance, here are a few suggestions on how you can telecommute apart from working from home:
1. Working from home is too isolated? Try co-working spaces and coffee shops to create a networking hub
Sometimes it’s good to meet new people and build a professional network outside of work. Co-working spaces can be defined as shared work environments where individuals from diverse fields, interests and backgrounds get together and work. Shared work environments will provide you with energetic, like-minded telecommuters who can share their opinions and ideas and give you feedback on your work.
A coffee shop is also a hub that provides a casual atmosphere for creative work. Telecommuters are attracted to the busy spirit found in a coffee shop space as noted in the Fast Company article, “coffee shops are a welcome experience of human interaction, but on your terms.”
TIP: While you shouldn’t sign any coworking contracts until you fall in love with the space and culture, daily rates are usually cheap enough to get you out of your PJs for the day (Green, 2013).
2. Relocate your own home office for a change of environment
If you feel the noise and activity of shared spaces distracts you, try changing your work atmosphere while remaining at home. If you work at the kitchen table and feel stuck on a project for work, take your laptop and work on your back porch if it’s a nice day or next to a sunny window.
TIP: Location, location, location. Setting up a satellite office on the couch with the TV remote nearby is only asking for distraction (Green, 2013).
3. Overwhelmed? Turn off your email
Constant emails can be a distraction when trying to focus on work at home. You can monitor your email in intervals that still makes you feel comfortable and responsible.
TIP: Give yourself space from technology for a few minutes and see what that feels like (Green, 2013).
4. Take a few minutes to blow off steam
Feel frustrated from work? Take a few moments and step outside for a walk or some fresh air to blow off some steam. The great thing about telecommuting is that you can take a minute away from work and get back to it when you’re ready.
TIP: Find ways to nurture yourself throughout the day that energize and bolster your spirits. If you’re having an especially tough day, be sure to remember that there’s no commute at the end (Green, 2013).
Exceptions to your regular telecommuting routines (Green, 2013)
According to findings from a 2011 survey, some advantages experienced by telecommuters included:
- 25 per cent of telecommuters reported decreased stress levels
- 86 per cent felt they were more productive
- 73 per cent said they ate healthier
- Over 80 per cent achieved a better work-life balance
- By skipping the daily commute, employees can gain 2-3 weeks’ worth of free time per year, get more things done and enjoy a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Green, Lea (2013), When to break the rules while telecommuting, online at: http://blog.pgi.com/2013/02/when-to-break-the-rules-while-telecommuting/, accessed on April 3rd, 2013.