I came accross the following post (Before you telecommute, know why telecommuting is hard) about why this guy doesn’t telecommute anymore. I can say from first-hand experience that workiing out of the home is difficult but it can be done effectively. I know that I am more productive in my office than I am in an office with other people. As a computer guy, people always seem to stop by my office to ask me about a problem they are having – at work or at home – with their computers. I have to stop what I’m doing to help them. It then takes at least 15 minutes to get back to what I was doing. Just think – if only four people stopped to ask a question, I will have lost at least an hour of productivity. This goes for phone calls also.
In my office, I work alone. I can turn off the phone and I don’t check email while I’m working on a project. I can work “heads-down” for hours on end – without interruption.
Here’s my secret for working out of the home:
- Schedule Time For Work – Make a point of telling everyone that you have set working hours – even if you are working out of your house. Treat that time as if you were going to work at your boss’es house!
- Close The Door – If you have little ones running around the house, make sure they know that if the door is closed, you are not to be disturbed.
- Turn Off The Phone – When you need to get work done, set aside certain parts of your day to make phone calls. It is much more efficient if you make the phone calls instead of people calling you. Let your voice mail work for you!
- Turn Off Email – If you leave your email program running while you work, you are more tempted to be distracted by email. Like the phone, set aside time to respond to email.
- Work As If You Were Working For Christ – As Christians, we need to be examples to others. If we slack off, or are unproductive, we aren’t a good example. The attitudes people form of our work habits will affect how seriously they take you if/when you talk to them about Christ’s love and forgiveness.