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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Work from home: 5 must-have ethics you need to possess

Telecommuting is becoming increasingly common in the U.S.
Telecommuting reduces the need to lease office space
By Glenna Baker

The ability to work from home is a growing trend in America. In fact, according to a study by Telework Research Network.com, telecommuting grew 73% from 2005 to 2011. Many companies are starting to allow their employees to work from home because it allows them to cut costs. They no longer need to rent or buy a large office space, they don’t need to pay for utilities for that building, and they don’t need to offer transportation reimbursement programs or worry about employees being late to work.

Although more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home, some still have reservations about it. These companies are afraid that employees with be unethical by being distracted with things around the house instead of actually working. If your boss allows you to work from home, it’s very important that you remain ethical in the following five ways.

1. Create a designated work zone

When you work from home, it can be all too tempting to pop your laptop in your lap while lying in bed, but this easily creates temptation. Instead of working, you may end up scouring the Internet or even falling asleep, and this is unethical, especially if you’re getting paid by the hour. In order to ethically work from home, you need to create a work zone. Create an office space that is far away from any distractions, such as TVs or even the kitchen. This way, you will be more inclined to actually work than to play.

2. Have set work hours

It’s easy to start doing things around the house instead of working, and this again is unethical. A great way to remain ethical while at home is to set work hours. Start your day at a specific time, end your day at a specific time and even take your lunch break at the same time. This way, you will not be tempted to clean the gutters, arrange the garage or cut the grass while you should be working.

3. Remind friends and family that you’re working

When your friends and family know that you’re working from home, they assume that you can do whatever you want whenever you want, and they’ll likely call you or come over during work hours and expect you to pay attention to them. You need to remind your friends and family that although you work from home, you’re still working, so you need them to respect that. Let them know not to come by your house uninvited, and don’t answer their calls or texts during work hours. This way, you’ll end up with fewer distractions, and you’ll be able to actually work on work.

4. Use the right tools

There are plenty of tools and apps out there that can help you stay on track. Self Control is an app that keeps you from visiting certain websites while you’re working. So if you have a tendency to hop on Google News or Facebook when you should be working, Self Control will keep you from doing this. You can block any website you want for up to 24 hours, making these sites completely inaccessible on your computer and forcing you to stick to the tasks at hand.

You should also consider investing in a tool like Office Time. This app pays attention to exactly what you’re doing on your computer. It will recognize if there is inactivity on your computer, and it will also place your time into certain categories, such as free time or even by certain projects. This way, you can see exactly how you’re spending your time during the day, and you can even send the reports over to your boss. If you know that you’re online activities are constantly being monitored, it will certainly keep you from being distracted all the time.

5. Charge by the project

If you are self-employed, charging by the hour to work from home is often considered unethical because the client can’t tell if you’re being honest. Plus, if you have multiple clients, you may start working for Client 1 and a few minutes later start working for Client 2, and you may end up billing them both for an hour of work even though you didn’t work for both clients for an entire hour.

Instead, if you are self-employed, it’s a better idea to bill by the project. This way, it doesn’t matter how much time you do or don’t spend on a certain client’s project during the day because you’re getting paid one set price, and this will certainly make your clients happy.
image source: flickr

About the author: Glenna Baker is a freelance writer for Rev.com. Glenna tips and tools that have helped contribute to her ongoing success.

Image license: Dave Dugdale, CC BY-SA 2.0  

1 comment:

  1. Marvelous tips for the work ethics to be attained there of for the betterment of the end result. Basically the main approach for any work ethics is the peace of mind and aligned approach of the work structure. Overall time is one such factor that carries utmost importance in order to be strategized in the work aspects. I consider that to be the legitimate support to any tasks or work related there of.

    Regarding a streamlined process of the work management, we have to think that what is the main objective that carries high level of importance in the overall procedure. I think that is to be the time and apparently, time management is one of the best part of the process. But is it possible that only the time management carries importance, I think so the time tracking for the respective tasks relatively defines the importance for the overall time management.