Thursday, December 9, 2010

Working from Home: Key Success Factors

Whether you are self-employed or telecommuting, the freedom and flexibility of working from home can be exhilarating, especially after years in an office environment. You’ll delight in the opportunity to think through ideas without interruption, and the flexibility of working around key personal commitments is invaluable. You may also find, though, that there can be some challenges as you make the transition to working from home. For a successful transition, consider the following advice:
  • Preserve the professional mindset: Get dressed and maintain a set work schedule. Align your work schedule with normal business hours, if applicable based on the job and any agreed-upon working arrangements with employers or clients. Consistent work hours are particularly important if you are telecommuting; you need to be available for the core hours your company will keep.
  • Be accessible: Make sure you’re accessible to your clients, boss, or coworkers. Use the advantages of technology that make communicating or working with clients from anywhere seamless, such as smart phone and/or dedicated phone land line/message service, fax machine, web conferencing, file hosting service, etc.
  • Maintain a workspace: Dedicate a specific physical location as your workspace and contain your work to that area so it does not overtake your home. Make sure it is private and that members of the household are aware when that space is off-limits. Have a signal when you are unavailable (e.g. door closed, sign on door).
  • Keep networking: Networking is a key success factor for any job, but consider it even more vital when working from home. Taking breaks in your day is necessary and combining this with networking is a smart approach. Not only may it lead to your next assignment, but continuing to exchange ideas and get input/feedback from professional colleagues will enhance the quality of your work.

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