Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thriving In The Virtual Workplace

Telecommuting, undoubtedly, is one of the major underlying benefits of the technological advances we have had in recent years.  It has shifted the paradigm of the boxed office place to the reality of completing a given task from a borderless station anywhere in the world.   Employers never had as much access to a diverse pool of skills and talents; while employees never had as much opportunity to gain work-life balance and flexibility. 

Aptly as we tackle on a new year and as more warm bodies shift to the virtual workplace - it would be a fitting chance to venture into telecommuting in the right footing. As often said, essentially knowing what one is threading on is the best way to ensure one’s success. Here are a few salient points to consider in embarking on a telecommuting career.

The first essential is choosing your physical place of work – a clearly envisioned comfortable space for productivity. This could be your study or kitchen table or a corner table in an internet cafe where you can guarantee less distraction through your working time. Defining the working space, especially at home, signals the household that your focus and attention is on your work.

Your tools of the trade – computer, hardware, software, internet connection – are the lifeblood of your work. Take time to consider the investment on these components to propel your productivity. Ensure you have the right tool to efficiently meet your clients’ goals.

Though telecommuting’s main benefit is flexibility of working time, it is as important to set your fixed working schedule. Arrange and commit your working schedule to your clients much like a full time job that requires regular time logs. Setting the time boundaries ensure that you have enough time to attend to household and personal chores as well.

Communication is elemental in the virtual workplace. Ensure you communicate clearly and as often with your clients and coworkers. Insists on clear goals and output expectations and check in on the progress of your tasks with your clients.

Keep tab of your work-related expenses and apportion an overhead expense for the conduct of your official work. As you are an entrepreneur yourself managing your own virtual business, it is best practice to account for your income and expenses to manage and strategize your work plans.

As an adage in the corporate world says – never stop improving. The virtual workplace is as dynamic and as swift as the advancement in technology, take time to seek and learn new techniques to continuously improve on your skills and build your credentials. There’s a huge virtual world of learning opportunity you can endlessly tap.

Lastly, make every interaction with your client or co-worker an occasion to showcase your true value and quality. Your own brand of service will spell the difference and sets you apart from any other virtual professional.

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