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I have been working in my pyjamas since more than two years ago. I mean by this that I have been working remotely from home. Now you may be thinking, I could never do that, and yeah, you are right, this kind of job is not made for everyone. It’s got its advantages, but it’s got its disadvantages as well like everything else in the world. If you don’t organize yourself thoroughly, you will never be able to put up with it for a long time. I must to admit that I sometimes miss working in an office with my colleagues, but in the other hand I’m absolutely aware of the great advantages that my current job offers me. I think the right thing to do is try to find a good balance among work and free time. Here you have some tips to help you find that balance.

1. Don’t work and spend your free time in the same place

This is one of the hardest facts for anyone working remotely to stand. It’s very frustrating (and unhealthy?) to sleep, work, eat, have a shower, watch TV, … in only one room. I know sometimes you have no choice since I also had to do all my life within four walls whilst I was living in San Francisco. Having a bed at a few meters from you when you are working on something boring is very tempting. Believe me, your productivity could fall off by far. So as long you can avoid doing this. Try to set up an independent workspace free of distractions.

2. Make people who are living with you realize that you are working

In case you are not living on your own, some people will find hard to realize that you are really working, not spending all day at home. They will tend to talk to you or ask you to do things whilst you are working. Let them know when you knock off.

3. Make a good use of the free time that a telecommute job offers you

One of the best advantages of working from home is the large amount of time that you can save in a day. I have realized that I can have up to 2 hours of free time more than when I was working in an office (trains, traffic stucks, lunch times, …). I normally spend that time on housework (laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, …) and on chilling me out.

4. Have a work timetable and carry it out strictly

Despite some companies already sets you a work timetable, normally they will give you the freedom of work whenever you want within reasonable limits. So this is when you have to discipline yourself and stick to working hours. You can also try to fit your timetable around people living with you, therefore you will avoid becoming very unsociable. Don’t get up too early or too late, design timetable which you can feel comfortable with.

5. Try to be available as much as you can

This is a very important point to have in mind when you are a telecommute worker: availability. Try to be available for your company as much as you can, at least during working hours. There are loads of ways you can be contacted by: phone, mail, IM, VoIP, … It’s very frustrating when you need a guy who you are paying for and you can’t find him/her.

Image | TylerIngram

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Alfonso Jiménez

Software Engineer at Jobandtalent


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