Virtual Office Featured Article

What I Learned From a Life Telecommuting

March 27, 2018
By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

I’ve worked at home – and in full-time positions – for most of my career. Looking back, it seems a little strange now.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I’d spend the bulk of my work life tapping away at my computer in the comfort and confines of my own home. But, I must say, it’s been a great life.

It allowed me to see my child off to school every morning, and to be there to greet her most afternoons. I can throw in a load of laundry or prep for dinner when I need to get up and stretch.

And I’m getting better about leaving the house to get some exercise and sunlight. It makes me more productive and less stressed during my work time. And it makes me happier and less isolated, especially if a friend joins me.

Taking the time to leave the house – even for just 15 minutes – to stretch and exercise is my No. 1 recommendation for anyone who is, or is considering, working from home. Here are a few other suggestions from a veteran telecommuter.

Obviously, one of the first things telecommuters need to do is make sure they have the equipment and connectivity to get the job done. The fact that so many of us now have our own laptops and smartphones means we have a great head start.

I also invested in a large computer screen so I can easily see multiple documents and applications. And, at my last few jobs, my employers have provided me with an IP phone. So it looks like I’m working from headquarters on the East Coast while I’m warm and dry out here in Arizona.

My phone provides me with all the same features and functionalities, including three-digit access to fellow employees, as people at headquarters. Companies and individual telecommuters can acquire IP and SIP phones from suppliers like The company offers a range of phones from such brands as Cisco, Polycom, and Yealink (News - Alert).

Before you set up your phone and computer, look around your living space to find the best area for your work. I once set up my desk in my bedroom, right next to my bed. As a result, I was in that room pretty much around the clock, which was not ideal. So, I relocated to a different room for a little more variety; much better.

One more point. It’s easy to become isolated when working from home. And it’s up to you (and me) to avoid that.

As I mentioned before, getting out and getting your blood pumping really helps. But, it’s also important to keep yourself in the loop with your remote coworkers.

I recommend checking in with your supervisor every week or so, if it doesn’t already happen organically. It’s also nice to interface with key coworkers and top management from time to time to offer help and share ideas.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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