This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Sarah Archer.
Times change, and now telecommuting is becoming more and more common. In fact, companies are getting wise to the idea that allowing their employees the flexibility to work from home is a great boon for them financially.
One study says that around 30% of companies believe the trend toward a larger percentage of their workforce being remote will go up in the next few years. And there’s good reason to believe this is the case.
It’s good for business: Statistics on working from home show that for each employee that works remotely even just half the time, the business saves around $11,000 per year. This is because they no longer have to put in the money for things like real estate, dedicated computers, housekeeping, and utilities.
It’s good for employees: Savings are not only in store for businesses. Due to avoiding a commute and things like dry cleaning expenses, the savings for those that work remotely can amount to around $4,000 annually.
If you are getting in on telecommuting, there are a number of things that will help you get ahead right away.
Pretend you are going to the office
It’s likely that you will be expected to work regular hours, even if you are not in the office physically. And even though you don’t have to be dressed for the occasion, it may be useful to get up, get showered and dressed, just as you would if you were headed for a traditional space.
Have a dedicated workspace
You may be less efficient or productive if you work from your couch, your bed, or your kitchen table. It’s important to separate your work life from your home life.
One good way to do this is to find a convenient coworking space, even if it is just for some of your workdays. If you have, for example, a day of the week that is filled with difficult tasks, you might want to be sure to schedule yourself at a coworking space where you can be sure you will not be distracted.
Segment your schedule
Working with segmented hours can help you organize your day when you don’t have anyone else to communicate with. You can make part of your time into email response time and then shift to a specific project. Many calendar apps allow you to put in work events and alerts you to when you should start working on a new project.
Get in on team chat
When you work remotely, no one knows you are even at work unless you are logged into a chat. Using real-time messaging channels allows you to still feel like part of a dedicated group and gives you the chance to communicate efficiently with coworkers on projects – even sharing files. Though you might be by yourself geographically, you want to try to avoid feeling isolated.
Schedule remote meetings
Using video meeting software allows you to be “face-to-face” with your colleagues. This is another reason to make sure that you are in a relatively professional setting when you work.
This is another good use for coworking spaces. Indeed, if you need to actually meet your team for something, it might be useful to rent a convenient meeting room at a coworking space.
Project management and collaboration
There are many ways to collaborate on a project with a team. Project management applications allow you to prioritize tasks and milestones. When collaborating on projects, likely the most ubiquitous programs are in the Google drive.
The best thing about Google drive applications is you can create documents that multiple users can work on simultaneously. It ends up being very convenient for large projects.
When you work from home, staying up to date with innovations in the world of telecommuting is going to be a part of your day today. There is wonderful tech that will make your life easier, keep an eye out for ways that your peers are innovating and consider looking to telecommuting forums to see what is groundbreaking in the field.
About the Author
Sarah Archer is a Content and PR manager at Your Best Digs. She’s passionate about evaluating everyday home products to help customers save time and money. When she’s not putting a product’s promise to the test, you’ll find her hiking a local trail or collecting stamps in her passport.