Should You Telework/Telecommute

“WOW! I can work from home and make money? I can sit around in my PJ’s and work whenever I want? How great, I want to be a telecommuter!”

There is much more to being a telecommuter than working in your PJ’s or working when you want to. Yes, those are nice benefits to telecommuting, but you’d be surprised by how much work goes into working from home. You usually have to work 10 times harder and longer than in your traditional job outside the home.

When I first started telecommuting years ago I thought, “How hard could this be?” Well was I in for a surprise! I found I wasn’t as motivated as I thought I would be. It was really hard for me to get up on time, get something to eat, and go to my “office” in order to start my day.

And once I did start my day I had to force myself to sit there and work for at least 3 hours at a time before I took a break. I couldn’t believe how different it was from working outside the home. Yes, it was very rewarding to work from my home, but it wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I thought from all the ads I’d seen online, that working would be a breeze.

After a few months of telecommuting, talking to other telecommuters, and just adjusting to this new way of working it all became much easier. I found that it was very fulfilling to be at home and be earning an income. It was nice to start myday when I wanted. My daily commute wasn’t an hour each way in rush hour traffic; it was down the hall in the bedroom we had set up for an office. It was very satisfying and a lot of fun!

I grew a network of moms who worked from their home too, and talked to them on message boards, email, instant messaging and chat rooms…they became my “co-workers”. I never realized how much I liked having co-workers, or people to talk to during the workday, until I began telecommuting!

So, does this all sound like something you’d like to do? Ask yourself these questions before you start telecommuting.

Am I focused?

What skills or experience do I have and can they work in a teleworking environment?

Do I have an area for an office and equipment?

Am I motivated or do I get frustrated and give up?

Can I work without supervision?

Can I manage my time well?

Do I listen to instructions and can I follow them easily?

Can I meet deadlines?

Do I have strong communication skills?

Do I have a strong work ethic?

There are even more things to consider before taking the leap into telecommuting. Such as, if you have small children will you be able to work with your child at home and if you go full time what will you do about healthcare benefits? Will you be able to live on part time income until you have enough work to maintain a full time schedule?

Many times when hired to work at home, you will not be making a full time income. You will need to obtain more than one job or work the one you have long enough to prove you’re a good employee so they give you more work. There are always exceptions to this rule, but in general it will take more than one job to make full time income.

But as most telecommuters will tell you “where there’s a will there’s a way” and if you really want to work from your home, you will. Just remember that it will take time to adjust to. Be sure to stay focused, motivated, dedicated, and have a positive attitude. It’s all necessary in your success as a telecommuter!

Nell Taliercio is the owner and founder of a leading resource website with work at home jobs and everything a telecommuting mom would need.