How To Buck The Trend Against Working From Home

By Larry Buhl

Yahoo's recent ban on telecommuting -- an effort meant to "raise employee morale"-- raises questions about the possible downsides of work-from-home jobs. Statistics from the Telework Research Network show that half of the U.S. workforce has jobs that are compatible with at least part-time telecommuting, and nearly eight in 10 employees would like to work from home. But if being out of sight also means being out of mind, telecommuting might not be worth the benefits.

Experts agree that working from home does not necessarily stall careers. But they do have several recommendations for determining whether it's right for your situation and how to make it benefit you and your employer. Follow company policies to the letter. This is to protect you as much as the company, according to Chuck Wilsker, president and CEO of TelCoa, a nonprofit telework education and advocacy organization. "The more procedures and expectations are set up for supervisors and employees, the safer the transition to telecommuting will be," Wilsker says.

Wilsker adds that if you're interested in working from home and your company doesn't have a formal policy, go to the human resources department with some recommendations for setting up a program. "Make it a standard agreement that states the mutual benefits, outlines the responsibilities of you and your supervisor and determines how your performance will be assessed," he says.

Use technology for "face time." Face-to-face meetings not only provide valuable visual cues and camaraderie but they also remind others that you're part of the team. When you're out of the office, find ways using technology to get face time. Whenever possible, choose video chat over emails and Web conferencing over phone calls.

Be proactive. Diane Stegmeier, founder and CEO of workplace change management consulting firm Stegmeier Consulting Group in Ohio, says working from home requires an even stronger ownership of your career. "That means proactively communicating with the manager about the results you're achieving and asking for new assignments that fuel career growth," Stegmeier says. "Don't wait to be asked to come in for a team or individual meeting. Instead, occasionally plan days to work on-site in the corporate offices. And reach out to colleagues to schedule brainstorming sessions to support team projects."

Document your accomplishments. This will help keep your boss in the loop and give you a strong record of achievement to draw from during performance review time, according to Barb Safani, CEO of New York-based career management and executive coaching firm Career Solvers. By consistently showcasing your productivity through your accomplishments, you help support your case for your telecommuting arrangement.

Assess how well you concentrate. An upside to working from home is not having anyone looking over your shoulder. That's also a downside for those who are lured by daytime TV, dirty floors, laundry or even a comfy bed. The bottom line: If you're easily distracted, you probably shouldn't work from home.

Test it out. Telecommuting doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. In fact, far more employees telecommute just one or two days out of the week. If you think your job would be right for telecommuting, try it one day a week or one day a month.
Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Related Stories

Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

8 Comments

Filter by:
Gossie

I think these are great suggestions. There is one cool program that I just recently joined that is actually paying out 100% of the profits to you on all the sales you make all online and they are real people helping you along the way. Just see if it works for you it at: www.onlinejobwork.org

February 07 2014 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
greatbuy28

http://cd0d86wcfldrdqhbtfoomo3kac.hop.clickbank.net/

check this out really works any body can do it if i can!!!!

December 03 2013 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CaNdy

Hi, Im a stay at home mom and was looking for ways to make some extra moeny. A friend told me about this website and i checked it out. Now I make decent extra cash by just posting ads and promoting sites. Go to http://TheJobCow.com/?id=andre_sprs

November 19 2013 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeremy and Jen

http://EasyTaskJob.com/?id=jenjohnson3025 easy, free work from home! Just click the link to get started!

November 04 2013 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jennifer Mackenzie

Working from home can sometimes be challenging but I have found it to be mostly very rewarding. I have been working as a Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant now for almost 2 years... I love my job! #lovebeingmyownboss #713training.com

September 30 2013 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie Malone

I found a great company that focuses on green living and being able earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at http://aol.momsprovide.com.

May 22 2013 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nitza Escalera

Great tips and communication is definitely key. There is a web based tool that can create the level of transparency needed to increase trust by protecting clients against overbilling while allowing professionals to bill hourly. Additionally, an employer can receive real-time live updates about the work in progress via screen shots of the employees desktop. You can view it at www.TransparentBusiness.com. It is even offered free for up to 5 users.

May 08 2013 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
happyjoyjoy333

The main link read "Work From Home Like a Pro".

I only clicked on the link to see if they would add, "...while lying on your back."

May 06 2013 at 11:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Aug 17 - Aug 24
View All

Featured Writers

Meet the team

Picks From the Web