Telecommuting tips..
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    Telecommuting tips..

    Just got a job where this is involved. Haven't worked from home before. Any tips? My one concern are two attention whoring dogs who will hear me in house and bark while on conference call.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    I'd suggest lots of treats/bones to keep the dogs occupied and reward them for good behavior or build a sound proof room for your office



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    I have two dogs and two little kids so it can be a challenge occasionally to keep a relatively quiet work environment in order to keep my attention.

    You might be able to tire out your dogs with a run before your calls so they are more inclined to sleep



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Muzzles?


    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    A last ditch effort might be to keep them in another room with shock collars on. I've heard they actually work very well for curbing barking.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Make sure you have a decent speakerphone. I service and install commercial audio conference equipment - 90% of the trouble calls we get involves the echo cancellation from someone calling in on their cell phone/speakerphone.

    General tips:

    Call in to the bridge 5-10 minutes before the conference starts. Sometimes the bridge line is bad and the only work around is for everyone on the call to hang up and dial back in.

    The mute button is your best friend - if your not speaking, mute your line. This will reduce noise on the line and can also pinpoint if a site has a bad connection.

    If you host a bridge call, call in 30 minutes before the meeting starts. Most companies have an operator that will monitor large conference calls. Connecting early allows you to confirm that your audio is clear by testing with the operator. That 30 minute window gives you enough time to switch to a different bridge line if necessary.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Bark collars worked wonders for my labs. Doesn't stop them from whining, but the barks went away.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    My biggest tip I can give you is to dress up like you are going to work. Just the simple act of dressing like I would at work made me work 100x harder than I did in a shorts and a t-shirt. There is also several add-ons for Firefox and Chrome that can block certain websites during set times.

    Helped me out tremendously when I did a telecommute job for a month. (It was a 1-month contract).


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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    I worked from home for 6 weeks due to construction and now I work from home one day a week (hopefully, I can do two days soon).

    A few tips:

    -get up and shower in the morning. I don't get dressed like I am going to work, but the shower wakes me up.
    -treat your time at home almost like you are at work. Have a specfic area that you work at (I have a finished basement that isn't used for much where I have a desk set up)
    -take a break at lunch (just like you would in the office)
    -I have a co-worker who didn't mute the TV when his boss called while he was owrking at home and he got in some trouble. For god's sake, mute the TV or radio if you have them on when you get a call.
    -make sure that you are putting in your entire 8 hours.

    Honestly, I get more work done when I am at home than I do when I am in the office. Part of it is that I am free of distractions. Part of it is that I am so happy not having a comute that I work even harder :)



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    I've worked from home since the mid 90's. It's important to be able to turn the phone off and walk away from work in the evening and weekends. Be careful about munching on something or you'll blimp out pretty easy.

    If you can stay focused on work, it's a great way to go however I do miss the soical interaction of an office setting a little bit at times. Still it works great when kids come along and it generally gives you a lot more schedule flexability.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Get a good headset for your phone. Sounds better than a speakerphone and it won't pick up as much ambient noise as a speakerphone would.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Biggest thing I tell my employees when they work at home -

    Be available - just because you're working at home doesn't mean you can ignore what's going on in the office, so respond to the e-mail or the instant message you were sent in a timely manner.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Quote Originally Posted by jsb View Post
    I worked from home for 6 weeks due to construction and now I work from home one day a week (hopefully, I can do two days soon).

    A few tips:

    -get up and shower in the morning. I don't get dressed like I am going to work, but the shower wakes me up.
    -treat your time at home almost like you are at work. Have a specfic area that you work at (I have a finished basement that isn't used for much where I have a desk set up)
    -take a break at lunch (just like you would in the office)
    -I have a co-worker who didn't mute the TV when his boss called while he was owrking at home and he got in some trouble. For god's sake, mute the TV or radio if you have them on when you get a call.
    -make sure that you are putting in your entire 8 hours.

    Honestly, I get more work done when I am at home than I do when I am in the office. Part of it is that I am free of distractions. Part of it is that I am so happy not having a comute that I work even harder :)
    This is excellent advice. I telecommuted for 5 1/2 years, and treating your some office like your real office is so important. Two more things:

    - At the end of the day, be sure to just quit. If your phone rings, let it go to voice mail. I've known some people to never know when to quit.
    - When you are back in the real office, remember that you are not home, and you can't just fart at will!



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Phone is a big part. Make sure to use the mute button on conference calls, I have a phone that does not make any noise when you mute it, so the others are unaware of it, and then can un-mute easily when it's time to talk.

    My dogs have had a few moments of barking mid-call, if I have a conference call I put them in another room, but sometimes it's inevitable that they bark. I have had some of my bosses have dog issues as well though, so it's bound to happen.

    I have not dressed in work clothes at all when working at home, and have had no issue with not feeling "professional" once the newness of working at home wore off. Another important part is being able to have "work time" and "home time", which takes some getting used to but you have to step away at a regular time or else you discover your 8 hr days became 12 hr days.



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    Re: Telecommuting tips..

    Good feedback in the thread and I agree.

    Big plus on cutting down any of your back ground noise. Remove yourself from anything that can interfere with phone conf calls: dogs, kids, tv, radio, etc.


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