3 Ways to Ensure Successful Telecommuting

Last Updated Jan 6, 2010 10:19 AM EST

We're a big fan of telecommuting and remote work arrangements around here, but not every company has such an accommodating viewpoint.

So if you're lucky enough to get permission to work from home, you should be careful to preserve that relationship as much as possible. The best way, we think, is through communication. We've got three important communication tips to help you keep your telecommuting role healthy.


Use an IM client. Your boss and co-workers can't walk down the hall to talk to you when you're at home. The phone is slow, and e-mail can make everyone feel disconnected -- so se an instant messaging program and lead the charge to get everyone else to use it as well. When you're a click away from real time communication, you'll seem more like a part of the team.

Provide a status report daily. One of management's biggest concerns about telecommuting -- whether they admit it or not -- is trust. What are you really doing at home? Who knows? Well, allay those concerns by submitting a daily status report. Nothing fancy -- at the end of each work day, just send an e-mail to your boss with a summary of what you worked on and your overall progress on your major projects.

Document your projects thoroughly. Working from home can sometimes feel like playing a game of telephone. Did you understand the instructions from your boss correctly? Did your co-workers get what you were trying to say? The best remedy is to document what you're working on in detail and post it somewhere everyone has access to it, like a team SharePoint or some collaboration tool.

Need help getting permission to work from home? We've got 5 tips for persuading your boss to let you work remotely.

Photo by _e.t

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