Most everyone dreams about working from home, today. The thought of getting up and going to work in your pajamas rather than dealing with traffic, long commutes, co-workers and bosses, sounds pretty good, right? Well, the truth is that more and more companies are offering more telecommute positions to their employees. It has become more common place for some companies to have telecommuters, which helps save the company money in several ways, and employees that either need to work from home, or have more time put in with the company, may be able to work it out where they can still be a part of the company, but not actually be in the office every day. If you have dreamt of working remotely from home, there are things you should know before embarking on the new career move. It definitely isn’t a job for everyone, so see if you would be a good fit for telecommute work by reading the list below. Here are ten things you should know about working remotely.
1. Need to be a motivated person
Remote work means that it is you, and you alone in your home office. There is no boss to oversee your every move, and no co-workers who are looking over your shoulder. What you get done, and how you spend your time is all up to you. It may be easy to blow off work or even deadlines to do other things that you see as more important at the time, but this can lead to a problem with a remote position with your company. Working from home requires a certain amount of motivation to be able to get up and get busy with work, just as if you had to go into the office.
2. Can be lonely
Part of being in an office environment is having other people around you. If you are a ‘people person,’ this can be comforting and help to keep your spirits up. If you thrive on having people around to interact with, bounce ideas off of, and just make you feel like you are a part of the company, then working remotely might be hard to deal with, and lonely at times. You may even feel out-of-the-loop, from the happenings at the office, which can make you begin to feel like an outsider from the rest of the employees. On the positive side, if you enjoy working alone and revel in the peace and quiet, it can be a welcomed change, and the perfect environment to work in for you.
3. Takes discipline
Working remotely means you are surrounded by all kinds of chores and tasks around the house that are staring you in the face. Where normally, these would be things you worked on during off hours from work, now you have the option to put your work down and start in on household chores, or perhaps, take off to run errands, or maybe even do a little shopping, and let your work go by the wayside. Working remotely takes discipline. Setting a regular work schedule and adhering to it is critical in order to be able to get work accomplished, or meet deadlines. It may be tempting to blow off work and go to lunch with a friend, just because you can, but getting into a routine of doing this will prove to be a remote job fail.
4. Jealous co-workers
There are plenty of workers who would give anything to be able to work from home. You hear more-and-more, people making the comment that they would love to have the luxury of working from home, so if you happen to be one that is given the opportunity to set-up work from your home office, be prepared to face some jealous co-workers. One way to help combat any tension that may arise between fellow co-workers, is avoid bragging or boasting about your mornings of checking emails in your pajamas, or your flexible schedule that allows you to have lazy mornings and long lunches. Rubbing your remote job in your co-workers’ faces is a sure way of losing the respect and friendship of co-workers.
5. Requires boundaries
Setting boundaries and sticking to them is the only way to keep you focused on your work schedule. You may find that you have to tell people what your work schedule is, or write a chart up and hang it on your office door for you, and others to see, listing the hours you plan to work each day. This will help you and others get used to your schedule so that they don’t try to disturb you during work hours. If you have a conference call, set boundaries that you are not to be disturbed during that time, and do
6. Family members may take advantage
Working from home may mean something else entirely to other people in your life. Your mother may think you have the time to run her to doctor’s appointments or go shopping for the day. Even your child’s school may think you have extra time for helping out with school events or field trips. Being able to say no, is an important part of being a remote worker. Family members need to know your work schedule and that you are not able to deviate from it at their whim.
7. Do you have adequate space and equipment?
Before you agree to take on a remote position, be sure you have everything you need to work from home; computer, printer, fax, appropriate phone lines, etc. You also want to make sure you have the space to set up everything you need in order to run your position adequately and efficiently. If you don’t, you may need to make the appropriate renovations so that you can.
8. Job security may decline
When it comes to companies, they are always looking for ways to cut back these days to increase their bottom line, it seems. Sometimes, cutting back may mean letting some employees go, and many times, this can mean employees that are the most expendable. Unfortunately, this can often mean remote workers, and as long as you are aware of the possibilities of this ahead of accepting a remote position with your company, you may still be a contender for taking a work from home job.
9. Promotions may not be in your future
Some companies, although all for certain employees working from home, they may save certain positions for the employees that are actually in the office on a day-to-day basis, which can benefit them on being in the ‘know’ of daily happenings. These are the ones that will typically be given promotions that may come available, which is something you should be prepared to deal with. If you are ok with not being up for the next move up on the ladder, then a remote position may be a position for you.
When you work from home, the way you do your taxes will change. Knowing what type of expenses and deductions you will need to include during your tax preparation is important in order to have them filed correctly. It’s always a good idea to consult with an accountant or someone experienced in tax preparation about the correct way to file your taxes when you work from a home office, before filing. Once you know the ins and outs of what to claim on your taxes regarding your new position, if you choose to file your own taxes in subsequent years, it will make it an easier process, and you get the most benefits of having a remote work position.