So you want to Telecommute?

To telecommute  is officially defined as doing formal work whilst being at home. Being able to telecommute on the face of it appears to be everything a working person wants to be offered but beware there are a number of pitfalls that you have to overcome in order for you to become successful at it. To some the allure is having lie-ins, hanging about all day in your pyjamas and enjoying long drawn out lunches and to others it’s the thought of not having to spend so much time commuting, not having to spend so many hours in meetings and being able to work uninterrupted by colleagues, plus of course the attraction to parents of being about at home when their children come home.

So what is the reality of telecommuting? It actually lengthens the working week by between 5 and 10 hours according to some authorities. It does offer greater flexibility but you have to remember that it’s a professional role and needs to be treated exactly the same as an office based role. You need to create some dedicated office space and provide the IT and telecoms that will ensure uninterrupted connectivity to both the internet and your office. You also need to dress as if you are going to the office as that will ensure that you keep focussed. The home environment can also be full of distractions and unwanted interruptions and some people are better at blanking these out than others.

One of the greatest downsides to telecommuting is that a person is detached from the daily banter and interactions with fellow workers. Telecommuters can get very lonely and it can be difficult to handle but the extra flexibility allows people to take walks, meet up locally with similar workers who telecommute and to generally alleviate the loneliness. Even spending some time working from a coffee shop, or similar, can motivate you even if you don’t actually interact with anybody.

Another downside is the lack of the IT and/or administrative support you often take for granted when office based. All these types of issues are solvable albeit it usually with extended and frustrating timelines but taking all these issues into account you can carve out a very successful , satisfying and profitable career for yourself but you will have to work at it certainly in the early says.

Steve Blythe  (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).

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