5 Tips for More Efficient Telecommuting

In an effort to improve their employees’ work/life balance, many companies are offering telecommuting or partial telecommuting as a perk. While it seems irresistible at first, many people who are used to working in an office environment struggle to maintain their efficiency once they begin working from the comfort of their own homes. With these 5 tips, you can become an efficient telecommuter and fully enjoy that life-improving perk you’ve always wanted!

1. Create a Routine:

There’s a reason most work environments have an established routine for their employees to fall into, it just works! Does this mean you have to forgo your newfound flexibility in order to conform to a lunch at noon, stop at six schedule every day? Of course not. Instead, creating a routine each week, allowing for flexibility in case plans or priorities change, will allow you the freedom to make your schedule unique and flexible while getting everything done in an efficient, timely manner. You’ll benefit from the establishment of a set schedule without having to do the same things the same way at the same time every day.

2. Get Dressed:

When you tell your friends and family that you’re working from home (even if it’s just one day a week) their first reaction will often be, “So you get to sit in your pajamas or sweatpants all day?” And, yes, you can do that if you want to but getting dressed in the morning may be a better idea if you want to be more efficient. Putting on your designated work clothes (keep in mind, they don’t need to be business casual or more formal than that) each morning can help transform you from an “at home” state of mind to an “at work” state of mind.

3. Daily Commute:

One of the best daily rituals you can establish when you’re working from home is creating your own daily commute. Instead of rolling out of bed and getting directly to work, try going for a short walk—even if it’s just around the block—to establish a sense of normalcy and jump-start your workday. This will trigger your mind and send you into a more productive work mode than simply getting up and getting to work ever could plus you’ll get a little fresh air which is always important.

4. Switch Up Your Surroundings:

If you’re telecommuting on a regular basis you may start to feel trapped in your own home. When this happens, get out and switch up your surroundings! Whether you spend half a day at a coffee shop, one day a week at a library, or even find a coworking space to go to on a regular basis, the act of switching up your surroundings will boost your creativity, your productivity, and help you from feeling isolated or trapped in your own home.

5. Stop Working:

Blurring the lines between where you work and where you live has numerous perks but one of its major pitfalls is that it will become more difficult to decide when you stop working. Some companies that offer partial or full telecommuting will still want you to work on a set schedule but, as often happens in any workplace, it’s far too easy to let your 5:30 end of day slip to 6, 7, or 8, and this habit only increases in likelihood if you work from home. To avoid this, try setting appointments for the end of the day or setting an alarm for the end of the day (with a few 15-minute backups in case you’re on a roll and want to hit snooze).

Telecommuting is a coveted perk and that many employers are beginning to offer in order to woo the best talent. If you find yourself in a new partial or full telecommuting position or you simply want to be a more efficient telecommuter, use these 5 tips to set you on the right path and help you fully enjoy the work/life balance increase this benefit has to offer.

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