Telecommuting: 3 Honest Truths About This Profession

3 Honest Truths About This Profession

If there’s a lesson to be learned about telecommuting, is that it’s not for everyone. And why should it be? Some of us enjoy coming to work believe it or not. Perhaps, it’s because of the daily human interaction office environments offer. Others, whether by choice or necessity, have become telecommuters, and they offer an entirely new meaning to professionalism. Currently, there are an estimated 30 million Americans that are telecommuting on a daily basis. And guess what? Three million of these telecommuters have never actually stepped foot inside their company’s office. But this particular piece of information is not enough to highlight the attractive features that telecommuting offers. Telecommuting takes professionalism to a whole new level.

Telecommuting means having an entirely modern and different approach to workplace performance and engagement. It goes beyond employee perks and the obvious financial savings telecommuters offer organizations. Telecommuting is more than lounging around groovy coffee shops. It taps into employees abilities to grow and cultivate a very particular set of skills, which have been in high demand since the beginning of time. But it’s through teleworking that we discover the meaning behind these particular set of skills and how to utilize them to the maximum. We begin by learning that:

You Need To Be A Self-Motivator

The heart and soul of telecommuting does not lie in its convenience factor. While working from coffee shops is groovy and good for the soul, that’s not what motivates telecommuters. The heart and soul of telecommuting lies in its ability to change the way individuals work and feel about it. According to a PGI survey, it was discovered from a group of telecommuters that 82% of them experienced lower stress levels, 80% felt a higher sense of morale, and 70% increased their productivity. There’s something to be said about the kind of experience telecommuting offers, but the glue that holds it together is found internally through each individual, it is self-motivation that holds telecommuting together. It’s not about having an entrepreneurial spirit or experiencing “I want to be my own boss” syndrome. Telecommuting requires being a great self-motivator to get work done, because there’s no room for babysitting in this line of work.

You Have To Be A Prioritizer

Telecommuters face different obstacles than regular office workers. Since telecommuting requires a different level of commitment and meeting certain expectations, being or learning to become a great prioritizer is lifesaving. The term “boss” takes on a different meaning when you’re a telecommuter. Because technically, no one manages telecommuters but themselves. They have to be self-sufficient, because telecommuters rely heavily on prioritizing and meeting deadlines without the same kind of support that office workers have. This support, needs to allow telecommuters the free range to perform without many, if any limitations. Because the truth is, a telecommuter may be able to produce on average 43% more business volume than office workers. Anyone against this?

You Must Master Your Communication Skills

Telecommuting doesn’t work if communication is non-existent or under utilized. While most of us enjoy a good conversation located at our office water cooler, telecommuting revolves around transparent communication. Virtual meetings and daily emails help keep telecommuters in the loop, but this all falls apart when poor communication is allowed to linger. Telecommuters don’t have the option of leisurely strolling around the office to ask questions. Telecommuting starts with asking questions, but the conversation has to grow and evolve to a point where open dialogue is the star of the show. Being able to communicate your ideas, recommendations, and daily challenges is how telecommunication is mastered. Ideally, this kind of communication cannot be built unless you’re on a two-way street.

And Understand What These 3 Truths Mean…

It honestly takes a special kind of person to be a full-time telecommuter. Your work schedule is flexible, but you spend more time working. You need a strong support system built on great friendships and loving family to counteract your daily solitude. Regardless of how your organization holds you accountable, nobody can claim greater accountability on your performance than yourself. According to extensive research from Gallup, employees that spend 20% or less of their time working remotely are engaged by 35% versus employees who do not work remotely by 28%. Why this information is important, is because the research also showed that the more time individuals spend as telecommuters their level of engagement drops accordingly. Maintaining a healthy and professional telecommuter lifestyle is dependent on an individual’s ability to monitor their own engagement levels effectively. Learning the truth behind how you motivate yourself, prioritize work, and communicate with others is the difference between succeeding and failing as a telecommuter. Remember, you are your only line of defense as a telecommuter.

photo credit: Rayi Christian via Unsplash cc

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