Avoiding Virtual Office Space Pitfalls, Part 2LOS ANGELES—Yesterday I shared with you five of the top 10 telecommuting pitfalls in an article I read on the Mother Nature Network. As one who works from a virtual office, I debunked most of them. In other words, yes, there are pitfalls to working remotely—but you don’t have to fall into them if you can see them clearly.
In part two of this series, I’m going to share with you the last five telecommuting pitfalls from the Mother Nature Network article and offer you my thoughts on how I avoid them—and how you can too.
Communication problems: The premise of this pitfall is that there’s more to communication than just reading typed words. It’s true that I miss out on body language and other important cues as I sit in my virtual office. That’s why you have to be extra careful to have a great attitude and make sure people understand you are on their side.
Data security: There’s been lot written about data security and the mobile workforce. The same holds true for the virtual office workforce. Virtual office users should keep their anti-virus software and other security mechanisms up to date—and just use some good old-fashioned common sense while surfing the web.
Limited equipment: Virtual office users often depend on their own equipment. This has never been a problem for me. If you need something that you don’t have in order to get the job done, your employer should provide it.
Inability to separate work and home life: Do the lines between work and home blur for virtual office users? I’m not sure. It probably depends on your level of self-discipline. For me, it’s not an issue. But this is a caveat to watch out for. The key is to separate yourself in a place that’s business only during work hours.
Dealing with distrustful employees: This is one I’ve never had to deal with, but I admit that it could be an issue for some virtual office workers. The key here is to be able to show that you are productive. If you are cranking out the work, no one is going to question when you do it or how you get it done. Meet your deadlines and goals and you’ll win the trust of your employer.