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Tips for the Holiday (or Everyday) Telecommuters
December 30, 2010 @ 09:54 AM | By Sara Steele

I love the week after Christmas because it finally feels like I can catch a breather at work. The emails and phone calls have subsided and I finally have time to focus on writing this blog post which I have put off for so long. Best of all, I knew the office would be slow today and with the snow starting to come down, I decided to stay at home and work remotely.

One great benefit of working for InterCall is that meeting remotely through audio and web conferencing solutions is an everyday business practice. Over two-thirds of respondents from a recent Cisco survey  believe their work improves when they work remotely. But, if you’re anything like me you may still need that little extra push and minimal distractions in order to be an efficient telecommuter. I’ve found all of these telecommuting best practices posted on NewsObserver.Com to be lifesavers, so I thought I would share.

  • Have a dedicated place, preferably a separate room in your home or apartment, for an office. It's not a good idea to have an office near the family TV set.
  • Forget about the overgrown lawn, some dead tree limbs, and a leaky faucet. Tend to these home chores in off hours or weekends, not during the workweek.
  • When working at home, it's easy to become a round-the-clock worker. Make sure you take breaks. Go out and have lunch.
  • Set a workday schedule, and try to stick with it. Some telecommuters work erratic schedules, but the more effective ones have a workday that is similar to the one they had at the office.
  • Avoid being a home office recluse. Telecommuters should meet with associates and friends for coffee breaks or lunch.
  • If you're a member of a professional or business group, continue to attend meetings. This is a good way to interact with others.

Do you find these tricks helpful when working remotely? Is there anything else you recommend to minimize the distractions that come along with working from home?

Sara SteeleSara Steele is an associate marketing manager at InterCall responsible for various corporate communication initiatives; including social media and channel marketing efforts. Sara began working with InterCall after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2006. In her free time, she enjoys running, skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

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Thirty years ago, a friend of mine at New England Telephone set up a home office in his attic. Things went well until his wife and children kept visiting him while he was trying to work. He finally told them to make an appointment like everyone else!

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