You Can't Work from Home if You Don't Do These 6 Things

Most moms (and people, for that matter) dream of having a thriving career that pays well and can be done from their home.  No commute.  No boss standing over your shoulder. Freedom to earn and produce without the hassles of office annoyances.

Unfortunately, even with a growing number of opportunities spanning across almost every business niche,  not everyone is cut out to work from home.  We interviewed several professionals with something to way on the matter; here is what they require of anyone they have a telecommute arrangement with:

Promote Trust

If you're not someone who can be trusted, you can forget about asking to work from a home office.  Doing work from afar requires that you can assure your employer or client that you are really doing what you say you are doing for them.  You need to assure them that you can be trusted with sensitive company info and will use their software and equipment to further the company's goals, not your own.    The Bold Edge is one such company that puts a great deal of value on the ability to trust their remote workers; they named trust as one of the top factors for deciding whether to work with a potential virtual contractor.

Embrace Technology

Not sure if you are able to adapt to a new operating system, browser extension, or email client?  You might not work out in today's world of virtual employment.  While no one expects you to be the next Steve Jobs simply to do a customer agent job, it's good to stay up on technology and be plugged into the most popular social media accounts.  You can usually get into all things technical by perusing consumer tech sites or staying current on your news feed on Facebook.

Show ROI

Remote workers can be a very cost-effective option for companies, especially if they can work with you in a freelance (or 1099) capacity, instead of employment.  But just because you are saving your company money on things like office space and parking, it doesn't mean that your worth shouldn't always be reemphasized.  Providing extra documentation of your value not only helps justify the arrangement, it can help you keep your job.  With thousands of remote workers vying for many of the same open positions, showing you are the best person for the job just makes sense.

Communicate Effectively

Sonjara, who has been working with remote staff since 2002, has this to say about communication:
"We have had staff who are terrible at communicating by email and as a result, a lot of wasted time and animosity occurs. We have a company rule - if you have emailed back and forth three times and you are no closer to resolving the issue, pick up the d@*!ned phone."
Well said.  Most remote workers can avoid communication problems by being consistent when how and when they reply to work communications.  Knowing when it's appropriate to email vs. call is a big issue.  Also, you should try to be proactive with your messages and not wait until someone checks in to see how a project is going.  You should be the one leading the conversation on your work.

Manage Your Time

It shouldn't have to be said, but some worker are just not very good at getting things done with all the distractions of home life.  With no one there to keep you from paying Candy Crush or getting up for coffee every 20 minutes, it can be easy to lose track of time.  Figuring out which jobs can be done in short bursts - and which need to have long blocks of uninterrupted attention -- is part of becoming a seasoned remote worker.

Be Reliable (and Professional)

These two traits go hand in hand.  Why?  Because you can be excellent at the tasks of your job, and not be a very professional person, in general; this can hurt your chances of being hired or keeping a remote position.  Jay Suites ensures that this won't be a problem by verifying each potential remote worker's reputation through a combination of research on professional sites like LinkedIn, as well as web searches and reference checks.  This would be a good time to make sure a Google Search doesn't turn up something unsavory.

Do you have the skills to pay the bills with a work-at-home occupation?  If you're struggling in one or more of these areas, be sure to check out our professional resources on topics such as productivity, networking, social media, and more!

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