One of the most appealing aspects of working at home is the independence it will give you. No one will be physically looking over your shoulder to make sure you get your work done. On the days you work from home, you’ll essentially be your own boss, free to structure your day as you wish, within certain limits of course.
There’s a flip side to this, however. Without the pressure of a supervisor’s scrutiny or just the “peer pressure” of being
surrounded by coworkers, you may feel less motivated to work. And how about all those distractions at home, fun
and otherwise: the gourmet food magazine that just fell through your mail slot, the lawn that needs mowing, or the dishes waiting to be washed? Honestly evaluate your ability to complete assignments when no one is around. To succeed as a teleworker, you have to be diligent even when no one is looking.
Now consider your time management skills. You’ll need to be disciplined about prioritizing your tasks and meeting deadlines. Completing your assignments on time will be the easiest way to convince your boss that you’re still putting in a full day’s work when you’re not there in person. If you don’t have a good sense of how long it takes to get your job done, you could end up spending too much time on personal tasks and not enough time on your work.
Good time management skills will also help you avoid ending up on the other end of the spectrum and becoming a “teleworkaholic.” Unlike a regular job, where you pack up and go home at the end of the day, you never really get away from the office when you work at home. Depending on your personality, this might translate into working all
the time—a serious invasion of your life that not every prospective teleworker considers. You’ll need to be able to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it, so that you work when you’re supposed to work and then you stop.
The power of a shower. Instead of puttering around in your bathrobe all day long, many teleworkers find they’re more selfdisciplined if they begin each day the same way they would if working at an office: by getting up at the same time, taking a shower, getting dressed, and having a bite to eat before starting work. Following a regular routine will signal to your mind that the working day has begun and it’s time to be productive.