Teleworking with my feet up

Teleworking: Pants or Pajamas?

Do you relish that you don’t have to shave before clocking in? Do you rejoice because you don’t have to put on makeup after you wake up? Is it hard for you to decide if you should wear pants or pajamas to work today?

Teleworking, or telecommuting, has quite a few perks–certainly including relaxed standards on dress code and personal hygiene. But for those of you who know the joys of holding your very own weekly beard-growing contest, there are a few things we should attend to before you hand out any prizes.

Are pants or pajamas optional?

According to a survey by Citrix, 40 percent of teleworkers see working in their birthday suit as a primary benefit. I’m all about a relaxed dress code, but that might be taking it a bit too far!

Based on my own experiments over the past four years, keeping to a somewhat consistent routine seems to work best. While I don’t shave every day, I’ve found that a morning shower and getting dressed really help me feel a little more focused throughout my day.

Siestas and Cervezas

Let’s face it–it can be tempting to take a nap or enjoy a cold beverage during lunch.

First and foremost, I am not fan of the so-called “martini lunch”, a once-common practice of enjoying alcohol during lunch. Alcohol has a time and place, but it diminishes your ability to focus on what you need to. If you are stressed, hit the gym or take a walk.

Naps are a touchy subject. Bosses won’t take too kindly to the idea that you are slacking off during working hours. That said, there are occasions when I would support this. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let this get in the way of deadlines, nor should you be discourteous to others and miss scheduled meetings because of this.

Another meeting?

Some days, I feel like I have more meetings than I did when I worked in an office.

In reality, I probably don’t. But as my calendar fills up with yet-another-meeting, every interaction with another person begins to feel like I’m caught in a swamp of meetings.

One of the key time management techniques I’ve been working on is chunking out my time slots so I can group all of my meetings into one section of my day. Every other time is reserved for planning or production.

Mute is for losers!

Speaking of meetings… I’ve been on conference calls where people decide to do dishes, file papers, type on the keyboard, play a video game, yell at the dog, and even use and flush the toilet!

Please, please, please… learn how to use your mute button and save us all the aggravation and embarrassment of hearing  you blow your nose one more time.

Turn up the volume–on your results

As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

I love the fact that I don’t get pulled into a lot of the day-to-day drama of an office anymore. It’s a great perk. On the flip side, I’m not seen or heard nearly as much. It can be a death sentence if people don’t know what I’m doing or how I contribute.

Be sure you broadcast what you are accomplishing. You don’t have to brag, but know that you are measured on your results. So turn up the volume on your output if people aren’t hearing your results loud and clear.

What teleworking best practices or funny stories do you have?