If you are telecommuting often or have a home-based business here are some great tips that will help you remain focused and organized.

  1. Have a dedicated space to work.
    If you have children at home, make sure they are being taken care of in a separate room. Multitasking here would not be that productive for your work and only increases stress.
  2. Define work hours during which you would not want to be disturbed – only unless if your house is on fire or your nanny is about to dial 911! Dedicate this time entirely to your work. When you are working from home concentrate on your work, keep your mind off kids and household chores. You must convince yourself and also your boss/team that when you are working from home you shall devote 100 percent focus towards your work. Show them or convince them that the work would be done and stay true to your commitment. It is an assurance for your boss and team that you are just not taking advantage of a situation but sincerely mean what you say. It also puts up a positive note for those women in other teams or those in your own who have a greater possibility of getting support from the manager and the team if requesting to work from home. Don’t let them and others down by not performing your best when given the opportunity of flexibility to work from home.
  3. Sometimes you may feel sloppy being in your ‘house clothes’ or in the pajamas day in and out, try to wear a trendy and smart outfit (may not be your best suit) and get to work, it gets you on a feel-good high.
  4. Keep away from distractions, no downloading music or continuous time on the messenger or the chat rooms. And as mentioned in the points above, avoid chores when working from home. Be disciplined and know your boundaries – and most importantly get the work done.
  5. Communicate your work hours to your colleagues and boss if you want to start and stop work earlier than the normal office hours (say 9 am to 5 pm). Try your best to show flexibility in working hours for important team meetings and also keep in touch with the team by being present at the main office (where your manager and team works) whenever required. Howsoever remotely you are able to work, some interaction on personal level is a must for a better boss-employee and co-worker relationship.
  6. Treat your lunch hour as you would when at work.
    Avoid grocery shopping or running errands during this time, because one distraction leads to another. Imagine yourself running for a quick grocery shopping and after when you are loading your refrigerator, something knocks on your mind to just clean up and get rid of the rotting veggies in the fridge before you load the new stuff. And how about quickly marinating the fish / chicken for dinner before getting back on the computer? The half an hour planned trip has turned into a one and a half hour lunch break for you and has terribly distracted your mind from the work you were at.
  7. Don’t Overextend your Working Hours.
    Shut off the computer and get out of the work area, working from home sometimes may mean working more hours than you might actually put in your regular work day. To avoid doing so, train yourself to your schedule and not getting in the habit of checking your Email even after dinner. Do not let the working hours take any of your personal family time. You will feel satisfied and organized once you make that mindset.

In short, show your productiveness while telecommuting and be prompt in answering the office Emails. It only improves your chances for continuing working from home and later on asking your boss for a part-time work schedule if you feel like.

If you have some stories to share on your telecommuting experience, or some tips of advice for all, please do share your comments.