If you work from home, or are considering doing so in the near future, you’d be following the lead of millions of others around the world who have chosen to engage in “workshifting,” a name given to the fact that more and more people are staying productive, but in a non-traditional environment. Forbes.com recently detailed a study of a Chinese company which found that employees who worked from home were 13 percent more productive than workers who stayed in the office, and 50 percent less likely to become frustrated to the point of leaving their job than workers who accomplished tasks in a traditional work environment.
Although working from home isn’t for everyone, these statistics prove that it’s an excellent opportunity for some. If you’re thinking about making the leap, keep reading to learn about two important considerations to be aware of before asking your boss if working from home might be an option.
The Citrix company has a special line of tools aimed specifically at companies who are considering giving their employees the chance to work from home. However, even the most high-tech tools can’t perform properly if you’re in a noisy environment populated by kids or animals. With that in mind, many employers will insist that work-at-home employees take the initiative to create a work environment that’s free of distractions that could cause productivity to drop or interfere with client communication.
If a large portion of your job requires you to interact with customers either via a webcam or voice chat, consider setting aside a specific room in your home that’s only used for work. Although that kind of environment is very helpful for increasing your focus, it can also prevent you from being aware of service employees, package delivery persons, or, at the other end of the spectrum, intruders who are on your property.
Consider installing a driveway alert chime system that you can hear clearly in the midst of a work day. It’ll help you react appropriately, and tell any potential trespassers that you’re still very much aware of your surroundings even while working from home.
Problems with Isolation
During your first stages of shifting from a traditional work environment to one that’s in your home, you may struggle with bouts of loneliness. Often, this symptom strikes even those who think that they’re fully ready for all the new challenges of telecommuting. In some work-at-home jobs, you may go for an entire day without a single face-to-face interaction with a human being.
Compensate by using resources such as video and text communication services that can help you stay in touch with fellow telecommuters, and those who are working hard back at the office. These methods don’t allow you to be more sociable in a true face-to-face sense, but they can serve as reminders that you’re not truly as alone as you might feel. Also, by staying diligent, you may be able to finish your tasks a bit earlier than you’d planned and head to a local coffee shop or cafe to get your fill of social interaction!
Finally, don’t forget that your boss might be more likely to agree to you working from home if you have a consistent habit of performing highly at the office. Keeping your motivation high won’t always be easy, but you’ll probably find that work-at-home positions are ideal, particularly if you’re already very dedicated and don’t require a lot of supervision. Good luck!
Claire Taylor is an avid blogger. If you are considering a change in your work environment, you may be able to use a driveway alert chime to make the transition.