How to Know If Working From Home Is Right for You

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Although working by telecommuting may sound like a dream come true, that's not always the case. Find out if working from home would be a good (or bad) fit for you.

How would you like to get up in the morning, pour yourself a cup of coffee and immediately start your workday at home without dealing with morning rush traffic or even getting out of your pajamas?

The benefits of telecommuting — both for workers and employers — have been well documented. Telecommuting has been lauded not only for helping workers achieve a better work-life balance, it can also reduce companies’ overhead costs and improve stress levels, productivity, absenteeism and worker loyalty.

Although landing a work-from-home job may sound like a dream come true, not everyone can cut it. Here are some things to consider before going after a remote worker position:

  • Are you self-motivated? When you telecommute, you don’t have a supervisor checking on you throughout the day (at least not in person). If you are self-motivated, focused, work well on your own and don’t need constant feedback from someone or a person to bounce ideas off, then working from home may be a good option for you.
  • Are you organized? If you’re organized and can stay focused without getting distracted by your home life (kids, laundry, dishes, watching television, etc.), that will give you a leg up working from home. You also need to be able to manage your time even when you’re not feeling your best or you’re distracted by something. “When you work at home, it can be harder to get back on track since there isn’t that external pressure (aka the boss),” writes MaryBeth Matzek, a freelance writer and longtime remote worker, on BrazenBlog.
  • Are you a “people person”? If you love the social interaction of an office setting — like water-cooler chats and impromptu lunch dates or meetings with your co-workers — then working from home may be difficult for you. I consider myself an introvert so working alone is ideal for me. But even I get lonely at times. “If you’re looking for a work at home job that still connects you with others, then looking for a customer service or sales position may be better suited for you,” suggests The Work At Home Woman.
  • Do you have a “work space” at home? “Although it may be nice to work from your couch or bed, studies have shown that you will be less productive from these areas,” says FlexJobs.com. Before you telecommute, you need to consider the work space you have at home. Do you have an office where you can complete your work without distraction? If not, is there a small, quiet space where you can work without getting easily distracted? “You should at least have an area where you can keep important paperwork or take a phone call without kids or pets interfering,” according to GrasshopperBlog.com. “If roommates or family members make it tricky to get the quiet space that you need, consider designating office hours so they’ll know when you’re available and when you’re not.”

If you still want to work from home and you’ve got the discipline to do it, these companies are hiring.

Do you work from home? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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