A situation popped up recently, one where I needed to change locations. I was prepared to quit my job so I can go take care of important things, but instead I got a chance to telecommute full time. Needless to say, I took it, and I have been slowly learning the ups and downs.
So far I love telecommuting. It’s one of the best things ever, and even the government agrees. Here are a few things I’ve noticed though with my new way of working.
1.) There is a learning curve
- It’s not a huge one, but there are some things that need to change. The most difficult of which is getting yourself and others to understand that working from home still involves working.
2.) Be prepared to rely on email even more
- You can’t do a job with no communication. Since an email can always be answered, unlike a phone, you will be using them a lot.
3.) If you plan on using your flexible schedule to do things during the day you will be making it up.
- This is kind of a given. If you decide to go take care of something in the afternoon you will be working later in the evening.
4.) Telecommuting doesn’t give you much more free time.
- Yes at first you will be excited, no more commuting to work wasting all that precious time in the car. Soon though you will realize that instead of commuting to work you are spending more time trying to get a hold of people and figuring out what is going on. This doesn’t exactly count towards billed hours; it’s pretty much the same amount of time you would be wasting sitting in your car, it just doesn’t use any gas.
5.) More Responsibilities
- You are basically your own manager when you telecommute, and you may need to start working directly with clients in order to be more efficient. You will need to communicate about your problems with a project, and solve them on your own when you can.
It’s not all bad though. There are plenty of benefits for both the employee and the employer.
1.) The hours that you spend working you’re more productive
- You get to work when you can sit down and get the work done. No more interruptions while you’re working on a project. You know, the kind that make you need to start over when you finally get back to it, and every time you start the project it takes ten minutes to log into everything and open all the documents.
2.) You can respond to clients faster.
- If you are only required to have a set amount of hours during the week then responding to an email after hours is not that big of a deal. It’s just going towards the amount of time you have due that week.
3.) Opportunities to find more customers
- Having an employee in another location can help to get more customers. It’s like having an office in another town, there just happens to only be one employee at that location.
4.) It can help employees come up with better ideas
- Contrary to popular belief, having some alone time to concentrate on something can help you come up with great ideas. For some people at least. If you need an example of this, look at Steve Wozniak. Steve created the first Apple computer while he was alone, and he was alone on purpose.
5.) Employees don’t need to take as much time off
- Employees don’t need to take the day off in fear of getting their co-workers sick. They can still get some work done on snow days when they need to stay home with their kids. Telecommuting gives a lot more opportunities to continue your work when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.