In the MNN article Lose the commute, David Abel discusses some of the challenges that employees in the Boston area faced last week when trying to telecommute in the midst of a massive winter storm.  The ability to work from home is a nice benefit and reduces an employee’s CO2 emissions when skipping the daily drive.  However, telecommuting is not always the most productive way to work.  There are a few quick tips to make your telecommuting experience much more productive.

Schedule your workday
One of the easiest ways to ensure productivity is to plan your workday, just as you would if you were to drive to the office.  You do not have to get out of your pajamas but if you have a schedule to follow, your day will go much more smoothly.

Plan phone calls around family
If you have a family, the days that you telecommute may throw their typical schedule off.  If you have to make phone calls or participate in a conference call, schedule these calls when the family is out or focused on another activity.  It is inevitable that the minute the phone hits your ear; your child will suddenly want your attention.  By planning the calls accordingly, you can avoid the odd interruptions that may occur.

Stay in touch
Even though you are not physically at the office, it is imperative to stay in touch with your coworkers as well as your manager.  It is important to show everyone that you can be productive while telecommuting.  If telecommuting is new to the office, this will help broaden the program at your company.

The relationship between telecommuting and emissions has been studied extensively.  One study published discovered that employees who telecommute not only skip the drive to and from work but they also take fewer daily trips.  “Once they began telecommuting, however, those employees made far fewer trips per day than the control group—an average of 1.94 versus 3.95 trips a day.”  Source:  Resources for the Future 

Telecommuting jobs are increasing in popularity.  As companies begin to embrace the green office movement with open arms, it is likely that the US workforce will see an increase in telecommuters.

Effective telecommuting strategies
Telecommuting is becoming more popular but it takes work to succeed as a telecommuter.