LOS ANGELES—I often talk about the benefits of virtual office space. But there are certain pitfalls associated with telecommuting. The good news is, you don’t have to fall into them if you know what they are.
I was reading an article on the Mother Nature Network that does a fine job of laying out the telecommuting pitfalls to avoid as you work from the quiet serenity of your virtual office space. I’m going to outline them here, and then offer my comments as one who also works from a virtual office.
I limit distractions in my virtual office by shutting off the phone while I am heads down on a serious project, closing my door so others in the house are signaled that I am working, and otherwise refraining from mindless Internet surfing during office hours.
Lack of a routine:
Just because you work from a virtual office doesn’t mean you have to lack a routine. My day starts at 5 a.m. and I workshift, answering some emails and writing few blog posts from the quiet of my virtual office before taking my daughter to school, then leaving my virtual office later in the afternoon to pick her up and make her a snack.
OK, so I haven’t quite figured out how to combat this one yet, but this pitfall is not due to virtual offices. In other words, you can hardly blame your virtual office set up for the increased workload. If anything, virtual offices help you work more productively by cutting out all the commute time.
Some say telecommuting can lead to isolation. I suppose that’s true. But I have plenty of socialization in my virtual office through Skype, e-mail, telephone calls and the occasional lunch meeting.
Out of sight, out of mind: This point suggests that if you are no longer interacting with your higher-ups on a regular basis, you may be overlooked. I avoid this virtual office pitfall by staying in regular communication with people. It’s just that easy.
Stay tuned for part two in tomorrow’s blog.