How to Make Teams More Innovative

hjDespite the fact that today’s technology makes it possible to do nearly any office job remotely, companies are still sharply divided on work-from-home policies. Some are happy to offer it to their employees as a much-coveted work-life balance perk, while other employers are hesitant to trust workers they’re not able to see in-person.

If you’re on the not-trusting side of the spectrum, you may want to reconsider your stance, if not for your employees, then for your company as a whole: Virtual teams may actually be more innovative and open-minded than colleagues sitting together in a face-to-face meeting.

In his work with more than 120 companies and their managers through the London Business School, Adam Kingl, executive director of learning solutions, has found that virtual work presents some distinct advantages, particularly when it comes to generating ideas and solving problems. In a physical setting, team members are likely to agree with the dominant person’s ideas to keep the peace, but virtual meetings deliver what Kingl calls “a meritocracy of ideas.

“Virtual meetings prompt participants to assess ideas based on their merit,” Kingl told Business News Daily. “There is a greater chance for a marketplace of ideas, [and] there are fewer biases in virtual meetings compared to face-to-face meetings. It’s more about the best idea and the ability to reflect and comment on the idea, rather than the person or personality.”

Because factors such as a person’s charisma, physical proximity, nationality, accent, etc., are not as prominent in virtual, chat or discussion board-based meetings, introverted employees and minority staff members can benefit from the chance to reflect, respond and have their voices heard, Kingl said. Another obvious benefit of virtual meetings is their ability to bring together geographically dispersed team members and have them contribute.

“The more global the team, the more the team leader needs to foster an effective virtual team dynamic,” Kingl said. “We can’t afford to wait for face-to-face [meetings] to have useful conversations.”

Remote work isn’t right for every situation or even every personality type, Kingl said, but he noted that virtual collaboration tends to work best in brainstorming scenarios and when a team is discussing complex problems that benefit from reflection and greater thinking time. A time-bound synchronous meeting forces participants to come up with fast, superficial solutions, whereas an ongoing virtual chat means that problems don’t have to be fully solved within the hour.

“With time, people will be more objective instead of being caught up in the moment,” Kingl said.

Even teams that work in the same location can benefit from the innovative advantages of virtual work. For large projects, Kingl advised co-located teams to break into smaller, face-to-face groups, and report back in a larger virtual meeting. Encouraging employees to find different locations around the office to work instead of their usual workstation can also give them a fresh perspective.

Know more about telecommuting policy

bhTelecommuting and flexible work arrangements are becoming an increasingly common workplace perk. The option to work outside the office, even just occasionally, is a dream come true for employees who long for better work-life balance. But without guidelines, managing remote employees can quickly become a boss’s worst nightmare.

“Allowing people to work from home is a perk that effectively attracts and retains top talent in a competitive market,” said Brian Shapland,general manager of office furniture company turnstone. “But there are factors to consider when giving your team the green light to work outside the office, like the impact it may have on employee engagement, team connectivity and the vibrancy of your office culture.”

As your company grows, it’s a good idea to put a formal telecommuting program in place to help you keep track of employees who choose to work remotely, and make sure everyone is performing at their peak, regardless of location. Experts shared four important issues to keep in mind when crafting your official policy.

The first thing any employer needs to consider when deciding on a remote work policy is whether the employees’ attitudes, work ethics and personalities align with the expectations of telecommuting. Being able to work from home sounds like a nice companywide perk in theory, but not everyone has the ability to be productive when the boss isn’t right down the hall to check up on them.

Scott Slater, whose burger franchise Slater’s 50/50 doesn’t have a corporate office, said  telecommuting is conducive to a specific type of person, one who is not only able to work outside of a traditional office setting, but can also hold himself and others accountable.

“Choose people on your team who can thrive in that type of environment,” Slater said. “Make sure there is a strong stance on accountability.”

To prevent employees from taking advantage of a remote work policy, Kim Davis, senior vice president of corporate human resources at benefits broker NFP, advised setting eligibility guidelines. These can include the nature of the position, how long a person has been at the company/in the role, past job performance and how frequently a staff member can telecommute (full time, once a week, once a month, etc.).

Expectations for work hours

For geographically dispersed teams, or in cases where remote work helps to accommodate for family schedules and obligations, official “business hours” may vary from person to person. Employers need to trust their telecommuters and give them the freedom to do their jobs in a way that works for them. However, regardless of their work hours, employees also need to be held accountable for their assigned jobs by adhering to company expectations.

“Perhaps the most important thing organizations can do … is set clear expectations with their employees,” Shapland told Business News Daily. “Remote workers should be available during office hours, must meet deadlines and complete projects with excellence and maintain communication with their manager and co-workers. Workers who do not meet these expectations risk losing the trust of leadership and sidelining their team.”

“It is important to provide very specific guidelines and policies for employees to review and acknowledge [regarding] the telecommuting arrangement,” Davis added. “A quiet and private work space is still needed [in the home], and work hours require full attention and dedication — no watching the kids while trying to work.”

How to Creating a Secure Home Office

dggThe ability to work from home is a prized employee perk that offers workers the chance to free themselves from the daily commute and complete their tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.

But along with that freedom and flexibility comes the risk of security issues that occur outside the protected corporate network. Even if your company provides VPN (virtual private network) access, your computer — and everything on it — could still be compromised if someone hacks into your home Wi-Fi network or the public hotspot you’re connected to.

“Making sure that sensitive documents and files remain confidential is definitely an issue remote employees need to tackle right from the outset,” said Brian Stark, general manager of North America at smanos, a smart home and DIY security systems company. “Of course, ensuring that there is a secure connection to the server is extremely important, but this is ultimately placed in the hands of the homeowner.”

Andrew Hay, chief information security officer at DataGravity, noted that other connected devices in your home may have far fewer security controls than your work laptop, which may give cybercriminals easy access to your device.

“Home-based workers must be diligent about what types of systems are on their home network that might also provide additional attack vectors,” Hay said. “I once spoke with an NCIS agent who conducted an investigation where a naval officer’s laptop was compromised by way of infiltrating his daughter’s laptop.”

Employees, then, become at least partly responsible for the safety and integrity of their company’s information.

Best practices for remote workers

How can you protect sensitive corporate data when you’re working from home? Here’s what our expert sources recommend:

Invest in antivirus software

This is the most basic, but by no means the only step you should take to secure your company’s files. Your employer may provide a recommended software for a company-issued device, but if you use your personal laptop for work, it’s important to keep your system protected.

“Since many internet providers [offer] free antivirus software, we recommend that our employees use them on their personal laptops,” said Venu Gooty, founder of MyBusinessGenie, a provider of small business software solutions.

Don’t allow family members to use your work devices

Gavin Silver, director of operations at Blue Fountain Media, reminded remote workers that the computer they do their work on is for employee use only — it’s not the family computer.

“Treat your work-issued laptop, mobile device and sensitive data as if you were sitting in a physical office location,” Hay added. “This will help you continuously associate your actions with a security-first and data-aware mentality in mind. For example, in a physical office location … your child [couldn’t] use your work-issued mobile device for games or movies. If you think of your laptop and mobile devices as work-only assets, it makes it far easier to control access to sensitive data and remain data-aware.”

What is the advantages work at home

The ability to work from home is an increasingly popular and coveted perk in modern workplaces, and it’s not hard to see why. From an employee perspective, the benefits of avoiding a commute are obvious, but employers also see benefits: Overhead costs go down if you don’t have to provide desk space and equipment for your staff, and you’ll never have to worry about lateness due to traffic or transportation issues.

But if virtual employees aren’t visible in the office, how can they remain accountable? Will their bosses treat them as “out of sight, out of mind?” Are they going to be reachable during normal business hours? Won’t they get distracted by all of their personal responsibilities at home?

Whether you work from home yourself or just manage people who do, it’s important to separate fact from fiction regarding remote-work habits and practices. Maren Donovan, founder and CEO of virtual assistant hiring service Zirtual, cleared up some common misconceptions employers and employees have about virtual workers.

You can be just as productive working on the couch as at a desk or table. “While you should make yourself as comfortable as possible and move locations to stay inspired throughout the day, the couch should not serve as your primary place of work. Save your neck and back!”

Meetings aren’t productive because they’re not face-to-face. “In our experience, meetings in the virtual space are often more efficient and productive than in office. We are all extra sensitive to everyone’s varying time zones and don’t feel the need to waste time. We also greatly value the in-person meetings and tasks throughout the day, since they are not the norm.”

“Work from home” strictly means working from home, as opposed to other nonoffice settings. “We work from hotels, parks, cafes, restaurants, airplanes, libraries, pools, beaches, rooftops, nail salons — the list goes on and on. A portable Internet device is by far a nomadic [virtual worker’s] best friend, as the whole world becomes your office.”

You can do your work anytime, night or day, without deadlines. “Because business thrives upon other people’s deadlines and needs, we work when everyone else does — and then some!”

You work more than people who work in the office. “It’s possible. It often becomes hard to draw the line when your home becomes a place for work and everything else, but it is very important to insist on a daily routine that involves eating, relating, taking a walk, etc.”

There are too many distractions at home to work efficiently. “Similar to meditation, you become extremely good at cutting out all the noise and focusing on the task at hand. Like anything, it takes practice, but we all remain so grateful to be able to, e.g., write a report or take an important call from the park, that we work even harder than we would from inside a cubicle.”

Anyone can work from home. “It is absolutely not for everyone, but we firmly stand behind the idea that work is something that you do, not a place that you go. It is vital that the company you work within encourages a strong sense of culture and community and implements a thought-out process to set employees up for success.”

As a remote worker who manages an entirely virtual staff, Donovan understands where some of these myths originated. Home distractions and lulls in creativity are real challenges, and to combat them, she advised working in spurts, taking frequent walks and changing your environment often.

Donovan also noted that employers are realizing how valuable working from home can be for both the company and its employees, and predicted a continued increase in the number of companies who offer this perk.

“With companies such as AMEX, Apple, Google and Adobe all offering their employees [a remote-work] option, we suspect that many more will begin to consider the same opportunity to help their companies thrive,” Donovan told Business News Daily. “You are offered the true opportunity to achieve a work-life balance, whatever that means for you. Being able to work from the comfort of one’s own home and make a decent living at the same time is priceless.”

How to Successful Work from Home

More and more employees are putting in a full day’s work without ever leaving the comfort of their home, new research shows.

More than 35 percent of the chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed said the number of work-from-home and other remote-work opportunities at their companies has increased in the last three years, and just 3 percent said they’ve seen a decline, according to a study from the staffing firm Accountemps.

Employees like the flexibility of working remotely, but employers are also seeing a variety of benefits. The study revealed that 35 percent of the executives surveyed see higher employee morale and greater retention rates as the primary advantages of offering remote-work options, and 28 percent said the best aspect is an increase in productivity by eliminating commute time.

Other benefits employers cite include the ability to save money on office space and gaining access to a broader talent pool when hiring.

Bill Driscoll, a district president of Accountemps, said employee preferences for “anytime, anywhere” work arrangements are hard to ignore.

“Although telecommuting isn’t suitable for every role, it can be a powerful incentive for employees who want greater flexibility,” Driscoll said in a statement. “It offers other advantages to businesses, such as greater productivity, cost savings on office space, the ability to tap into talent in different geographical areas and time zones, and more around-the-clock client service.”

Accountemps offered several tips for employers thinking about setting up a remote workforce:

  • Create guidelines: In addition to establishing which positions are eligible for telecommuting, employers need to set some other requirements for employees to be considered for these roles. Examples of these prerequisites include a positive performance record and a proven ability to work with little or no supervision.
  • Set expectations: Make sure remote employees understand all of the program’s rules, such as the need to be accessible during certain times or that they must keep similar hours as their in-office co-workers.
  • Stay in touch: While email may be convenient in some instances, hearing an employee’s voice over the phone or seeing his or her face in a videoconference makes for better communication. Using these communication tools helps to ensure that remote workers don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  • Highlight the opportunity: In order to get the full benefits of a telecommuting program, employers need to promote it to not only existing staff, but to job candidates as well. Not doing so can hurt your chances of both recruiting the best job candidates and retaining your top employees.
  • Ensure security: Because remote employees aren’t working from the confines of a secure office, employers must make sure that these workers are trained in company security practices, such as maintaining virus protection, keeping software updated and safeguarding confidential information.

What is make your personality difficult if work at home

When you work outside of an office, a bad Wi-Fi connection or screaming kids in the background can put a real damper on your productivity. But technical difficulties and home distractions aren’t the only factors that make it hard to work remotely. In fact, many of a person’s successes or challenges with working from home have to do with his or her personality.

It’s easy to make broad generalizations about personality types, and assume that extraverts feel too isolated or distracted at home, or that introverts fall off the radar if someone doesn’t check in with them — and in some cases, it’s true. But there’s a lot more to someone’s personality traits — and consequently, their work preferences — than whether they like to work alone or surrounded by colleagues.

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment assigns people one trait from each of four type pairings: introversion or extraversion; intuition or sensing; thinking or feeling; and judging or perceiving. These traits inform the way a person perceives the world and makes decisions, and based on that, the MBTI offers insight into the way that person thinks and behaves. Michael Segovia, a lead certification trainer for people-development company and exclusive MBTI publisher CPP, shared some key strengths and weaknesses about the way each type pairing approaches remote work.

Introversion (I) vs. extraversion (E)

People who tend toward introversion are often seen as the ideal work-from-home candidates, because they thrive in quiet, calm environments where they can be alone with their thoughts. However, Segovia noted that the solitude of the home office typically gives introverts less motivation to speak up and contribute to group discussions.

Extraverted individuals, on the other hand, draw their energy from others, and they may find it difficult to be creative and productive without an office full of colleagues to bounce ideas off of, Segovia said. Similarly, psychologist Dr. Jennifer Jones, founder and CEO of the EntrepreneurShift app and live-event program, said that extraverts may experience an “energy rut” while working from home if they don’t get that face time they crave.

Intuition (N) vs. sensing (S)

When it comes to processing information, people who are more intuitive tend to want “big-picture” ideas, and to look at things from a broader perspective, Segovia said. They don’t necessarily need or want a lot of direction, and may react negatively to micromanagement.

In contrast, sensors need specifics, and find it challenging when the directions and tasks they’re given are too general. Segovia said these individuals need to be able to ask a lot of questions to understand and focus in on the details.

Thinking (T) vs. feeling (F)

This MBTI type pairing usually refers to the way people make decisions, but Segovia said a person’s preference for thinking or feeling also affects the way that individual interprets remote communications. Thinkers, he said, look for clarity and brevity, while feelers want to make a connection with the person they’re speaking with. This can be problematic if a manager or colleague is too chatty and excitable (for thinkers) or too blunt (for sensors) in their daily text-based communications, as the emotions and subtext one would look for in face-to-face interactions are absent.

Judging (J) vs. perceiving (P)

Segovia said that people who tend toward judging want closure in their work. They find it easier to work from home because they can naturally focus on getting their tasks done, and separate work time from relaxation time. However, this can backfire when a judger makes a decision too quickly, without all the necessary information, because he or she simply wants to resolve the matter.

Workers who prefer perceiving like to spread out their tasks, and are OK with being “on the clock” longer if it means they can take frequent breaks in between, Segovia said. However, this tendency also means perceivers can easily become distracted when their lines between work and play are more blurred. They may also find it difficult to make a firm decision, as they like to keep things more open-ended.

Making ‘work from home’ work

Since so many companies do offer their staff the option to work from home full- or part-time, it’s important for both employers and employees to agree on a remote-work policy that makes sense for everyone, regardless of personality type. Jones noted that regular video conferences, occasional in-office days and a good project-management software can enforce a strong sense of accountability in remote staff.

“Companies should have a video conference with the person who is working from home every other day,” Jones told Business News Daily. “This will also help those who tend toward distractibility to be accountable. In addition, companies should have the person come into the office at least twice per month and have a roundtable with the others on his or her team.”

Publicist Jana McDonough, a full-time remote staff member at Maracaibo Media Group, said that frequent communication can help anyone who works outside the office remain confident and connected.

“When working from home, you have to be able to reach out if you have any questions or concerns,” McDonough said. “In other words, you have to be completely transparent. Just because you can’t physically see what each other is working on, doesn’t mean both sides can’t check in with each other.”

Ultimately, Segovia said the success of any employee, remote or not, depends on how motivated he or she is to meet and exceed the job requirements.

How to find the company that let you work just at home

Many employees are increasingly valuing the option to work from home on a full- or part-time basis.

According to FlexJobs, a job-posting service specializing in remote and flexible job opportunities, the number of telecommuting workers has increased by 103 percent in the past decade, with 22 percent of telecommuters saying they telecommuted more in 2015 than they did the year before.

Some employers are offering more telecommuting opportunities than others. LiveOps, TeleTech, Amazon, Sutherland Global Services and UnitedHealth Group top FlexJob’s rankings of this year’s best 100 companies for telecommuting and remote jobs.

The ranking includes a range of small to large companies across an assortment of industries. The research revealed that the top seven industries for remote workers are computer and IT, medical and health, sales, administrative, customer service, education and training, and marketing.

The job titles most commonly associated with remote opportunities include writer, engineer, marketing manager, health care consultant, case manager, development director, recruiter, sales representative, account executive, IT analyst, clinical research associate, project manager and interpreter/translator. [Is Telecommuting Right For You? ]

“Remote working is on the rise, and this acceleration is great news for anyone wishing to trade the office for a telecommuting job,” Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a statement.

This year’s top 100 list is based on an analysis of more than 40,000 companies and their telecommuting job-posting histories in FlexJobs’ database during 2015. To be considered, companies had to offer a telecommuting-friendly component to some of their jobs, such as an arrangement to telecommute entirely, part of the time or as an option. Here are the top 50 companies on this year’s list:

  1. LiveOps
  2. TeleTech
  3. Amazon
  4. Sutherland Global Services
  5. UnitedHealth Group
  6. Dell
  7. IBM
  8. U.S. Department of Agriculture
  9. Working Solutions
  10. Humana
  11. Aetna
  12. Intuit
  13. Kaplan
  14. Kelly Services
  15. Cactus Communications
  16. Westat
  17. Salesforce
  18. Parexel
  19. CyberCoders
  20. American Express
  21. VMware
  22. SAP
  23. Xerox
  24. First Data
  25. US-Reports
  26. Oracle
  27. CACI International
  28. A Place for Mom
  29. Anthem Inc.
  30. Dell SecureWorks
  31. World Travel Holdings
  32. ADP
  33. Aon
  34. University of Maryland University College
  35. Allergan Inc.
  36. K12
  37. U.S. Department of Transportation
  38. CSI Companies
  39. Robert Half
  40. Nielsen
  41. Red Hat
  42. Adobe Systems
  43. Overland Solutions Inc.
  44. BCD Travel
  45. Connections Education
  46. Deloitte
  47. Apple
  48. McKesson Corp.
  49. Thermo Fisher Scientific
  50. Precyse

Overall, FlexJobs saw a 36 percent increase in the number of telecommute-friendly jobs posted in its database over the past year. The entire list of the top 100 companies for telecommuting and remote jobs in 2016 can be found on the FlexJobs website.

How to get the great ideas of home office pinterest boards

Change for the better

Having the flexibility to work from home may be a dream come true, but if your work space is boring, you might not feel motivated to get anything done. A few décor changes — from unique office supplies to cool wall art — can make a huge difference, turning your office space into a place that fosters creativity and productivity.

These products are fun, whimsical and just what you need to make telecommuting less tedious. And the best part? Everything on this list is available for less than $50, so you don’t have to break the bank in the process.

Keep all of your work mail and documents organized with this simple but unique enamel and steel elephant organizer. You can leave it on your desk or even mount it to a wall if you prefer to save space. If you do mount it, you can use the elephant’s trunk as a key holder, too. From Kikkerland. ($22.50)

Try adding a corkboard to your home office to display photos or keep track of important work reminders, and spice things up with a cute pushpin set, like this one. This set of 50 tacks is perfect for foodies who have a sushi obsession. From Urban Outfitters. ($8)

Add a little life to your desk with these beautiful little crystal-geode air-plant planters. This planter measures 1.5 inches wide by 1.5 inches tall (3.8 by 3.8 centimeters), with the included plant ranging from approximately 1.25 inches (3.2 cm) to 1.5 inches tall. This seller also has other geode planters for sale, but prices vary. From Etsy. ($10.99)

How to keep focus on your job while at home

Working from home can be wonderful: You avoid traffic, crowded trains and noisy co-workers, and you’re within your comfort zone. But it can also have a downside: Sometimes, you can get unbelievably distracted.

Between your professional duties and the responsibilities you have at home, working from your house can mix up your focus and take away from the work that really matters.

“Working from home can open up a lot of opportunities to do anything but work,” said Gerald D. Vinci, owner of Vinci Digital Marketing. “A pile of dishes in the sink or laundry in the hamper might be calling your name, but too often, these distractions wind up greatly impacting productivity.”


Have a designated workspace

A dedicated space, whether a home office or a dedicated corner of the bedroom, is the key to staying successful and productive.  You still need to feel that you have, in some way, “gone to work,” said Bill Conlon, corporate communications manager at business communications company Polycom.


Be technologically equipped

Beyond a reliable and speedy Wi-Fi connection, you’ll want strong collaboration tools that will let you hear, see and share effectively. Conlon noted that videoconferencing and content-sharing technologies are critical to being productive.


Stay connected with your co-workers

When employees work from home, the biggest thing they miss is the conversation and commentary that occur after the meeting, Conlon said. Make sure to use your cellphone, instant messaging or audio or video calls to check in. To avoid being forgotten by not being “seen,” consistently communicate about progress, ideas, insights and what you’re thinking — but make sure it’s relevant, he said.


Commit to work tasks during your working hours

For some people, keeping focused on their job while working remotely can be difficult, especially at first. When you’re on the clock, ignore the laundry, yard work, dish washing or cleaning. Conlon reminded telecommuters that this is another reason why having a dedicated workspace is so important.


Remember to move

It’s easy to stay glued to your desk or couch all day if you work from home, and that’s not good for your health or your mental acuity. Make sure you get up regularly, stretch your legs and walk around, Conlon said.

Working from home doesn’t need to literally mean “from home,” either. Getting face time with clients at a coffee shop, working in a Wi-Fi-capable location or changing scenery are ways to remain productive while moving around.

“I find myself running out to meet with clients or attending networking events on a weekly basis,” Vinci said. “By establishing a routine to dress and look the part, I can easily come and go throughout the day without stressing about getting ready for a last-minute meeting.”

How to work just at home

Whether it’s a few days a month or a few days a week, the ability to work from home is becoming an increasingly common workplace perk.

According to a recent survey by WorldatWork and FlexJobs, 80 percent of today’s companies offer flexible work arrangements for their employees, including the option to occasionally telework. FlexJobs also found that 76 percent of people said their home, not the office, is their preferred place to work when they need to get important things done.

Although many of these programs are discretionary and on an ad-hoc basis, nearly half of employers who allow remote work said telecommuters are just as productive as in-office employees. But is a remote work arrangement the right one for you?

Questions to ask yourself

Employees thinking about working from home need to consider all of the factors that come with working remotely. Jane Sunley, CEO of employee-engagement company Purple Cubed and author of “It’s Never OK to Kiss the Interviewer” (LID Publishing, 2014), advised potential telecommuters to ask themselves the following questions before changing their work structures:

  • Am I happy spending long periods of time on my own?
  • Am I self-disciplined and self-motivated?
  • Am I confident working without supervision?
  • Am I comfortable communicating with my colleagues via email, chat, videoconference, etc. instead of face to face?
  • Do I have a quiet, distraction-free area at home in which to focus on my work?
  • Will telecommuting help me achieve the work-life balance I want?

If the answer is “yes” to all of these, telecommuting could be the right choice for you.

Consider your personality

Scott Boyar, an associate professor in the Department of Management, Information Systems and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said that whether an employee is successful working from home depends on the person, the job and the training the organization provides for the individual to do that role remotely. [See Related Story: Is Your Personality Making It Hard to Work from Home?]

“An organization has a lot of responsibility when letting workers go virtual, but the employee carries a lot of it too,” Boyar said.

Some professionals may not have the personality suited for remotely working a few times a week. The best way to determine if you’re ready is to do a real audit of your abilities and skills, said Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs.

“I recommend talking with other people who work from home regularly, to find out their perspective on what it’s really like and what you can expect,” said Sutton Fell. “Whether you know people in real life, search online for people’s stories, or ask questions on sites like LinkedIn or Quora to gather people’s opinions, try to get a good sense of what it’s really like to work from home, and whether you’re ready for it.”

Asking your boss

If you’ve decided you’re well-suited for remote work, how do you bring it up to your boss?

“The best time to [discuss working from home] is after you’ve thought your options through,” Sutton Fell said. “You should be ready to discuss how often you want to work from home [and] how you think it will benefit your job, team and company.”

Sunley noted that it’s easy for telecommuters to forget about taking breaks, which can decrease productivity over time. Remote employees need to be willing and able to structure their days to include those breaks, but also set boundaries with friends and families to maintain good work habits.

“You may now appear more available to [your friends, who may] not realize the demands that working from home requires,” Sunley told Business News Daily.

If your employer isn’t on board with full-time remote work, Boyar noted that an ideal situation for most employees may involve a combination of working in the office and at home throughout the week.

“There are many benefits to working from both the home and the office,” Sutton Fell added. “In some ways, it gives you the best of both worlds, because at home, you get a quiet space that you can control to help you focus and dig deeply into projects and important work.”