March 23, 2010
Saleshq.com offers up tricks for telecommuters in this article. There are some solid points like this:
It’s very easy to forget the outside world when you work from home. While you do get to avoid the intricacies of corporate politics, it also means that you have to be your own advocate.
Make sure there are multiple ways for your boss and colleagues to contact you. Check your email frequently, and respond as immediately as you can. Keep your phone at hand, and make sure you call if there’s an office meeting. An instant messaging service works well for open communication if something changes last minute. For more long distance projects, make use of free video conferencing tools like Skype.
This fact is mission-critical. One of my customers has a remote salesperson who works in the same small town as the office, but she telecommutes. I’m not sure why, but that is a topic for another post. Anyway, one of the things she has expertly established is her lack of availability during the work day. What I mean is that the office can never get her on the phone during the day. Cell phone, home phone…it doesn’t matter, their calls always end up in voicemail.
I find this fact appalling, but my customer tolerates it. What I believe this does is free her up to do other activities during goal time for selling. The office has now become accustomed to not reaching her on the phone so they think nothing of it.
If you manage telecommuters, you must have a communication channel (cell, text, IM, etc.) that always allows access to them.