About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view DylanMason's profile
    Posted February 26, 2013 by
    Ecninitas, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Telecommuting: Your productivity tips

    Can you answer "yes" to these?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     DylanMason works remotely from the West Coast for an East Coast company as a software developer. He says people must establish a regimented routine in order to prevent distractions. "Distractions of any sort can pull you out of a 'flow' mode, and if you are prone to distraction, then working from home can be very challenging," he says.
    - PM91, CNN iReport producer

    I've been happily telecommuting for over 4 years now and can say if you can answer yes to the following questions, then you might be be alright to telecommute!

    1) Are you an introvert?

    This is probably the most important question to answer and you must really think about this. Take a Myers-Briggs and see if you're an "I". If you're a strong "E", it might be very challenging to telecommute. Introverts can naturally draw energy from being solitary and this (I think) is the most important factor. We've all said "I would LOVE to work from home to get out of this place!" at some point, but you don't know what you miss until it's gone. You might be surprised to learn that all those personal interactions, although distracting (and unpleasant) at times, are really what make you feel part of a group.

    2) Does your work demand intense engagement?

    This is subjective, but the issue here is distractions. If your work is not engaging, you will find anything else to do besides your work. If you can't get into long periods of "flow", then working from home can be a bad idea as you start mixing in more and more distractions into your work day.

    3) Do you currently commute more than 1 hour a day (total)?

    Arbitrary cutoff here, but how would you like to give yourself a time-raise? Remember, 1 hour a day commuting is around 15 days a year of conscious time (not sleeping!). What if you swapped that hour of commuting into work time? Win-win if you ask me. And we're not even talking about transportation expenses!

    4) Does your current office environment actually get in the way of getting anything done?

    Now before you scream "YESSSSS!! THIS PLACE IS INSANE!!!!", I'm talking about being pulled in too many directions and not being able to effectively say "no", leading you to have to work off hours to catch up with "real" work. Is your job about constantly putting fires out or dealing with inane interpersonal issues? If you are getting pushed to the limit because of this, then telecommuting (or even a hybrid 3 days office/2 days home) can literally save your mind and job.

    In summary, I think we all have a "sweet spot" of productivity and telecommuting can (if used correctly) help make you happier and allow you to get more done. And when I say "allow", I mean it. I've never been more engaged and productive since I went solo.

    Oh yeah, if you do end up working from home, get a standing desk, some decent speakers, and Pandora!

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