Tips for Successful Telecommuting

Telecommuting is the practice of working at home or at a site near the home instead of physically traveling to a central workplace. It is a work alternative that Agnes Scott College may offer to some employees when it would benefit both the college and the employee. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, out of necessity, the college greatly expanded telecommuting. As we gradually return to the office, some employees may wish to continue working remotely. In addition, this option may be the best alternative for individuals who are at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 or living with someone who is in a vulnerable/high risk category and must protect themselves and their families.

Employees who must remain at home for health or family reasons and/or those who have been successfully telecommuting and believe their position is suited to exploring telecommuting as a long-term option must complete the Staff Telework Assessment Tool.

For additional information, please refer to the Spring 2021 Staff Return to Campus, Telework and Leave Guidelines.

Establish a workspace

Establish a private workspace where you can work quietly, with fewer interruptions from your household. As a remote worker, it is important for you to eliminate as many distractions as possible and to maintain high levels of customer service.

With many schools operating remotely, family distractions are inevitable. Having a conversation with members of your household can help. Posting a "Do Not Disturb" sign in your workspace may also be helpful to let others know you are working. You may also want to put pets in separate rooms. Consider using headphones to block out household noise if it distracts you.

Forward your phone

Be sure you have set up and know how to use a working method to forward your office phone. As a best practice, you should avoid having your calls go into voicemail requiring you to return them with a personal phone number.

Utilize your Google calendar to help you set, track and share work goals and progress with others.

Be accountable

Demonstrate accountability and strong communication with your supervisor and colleagues. Check in regularly to provide updates so they know what you are working on.
Schedule a weekly meeting with your supervisor or discuss submitting a weekly report to your supervisor to keep them abreast to work status.

Stay connected

Stay connected with your colleagues. This helps you keep others aware of your work status, maintains your levels of engagement, and helps you avoid feelings of isolation.

You should feel confident about calling or messaging a colleague who is teleworking anytime during the work day just as you would walk to their office or call them if you were working on campus.

Try scheduling a virtual lunch or coffee with your colleagues using Zoom.

Maintain regular work habits

Establish a routine and get ready for work like you would if you were going into the office. While casual dress is a bonus for those who telecommute, staying in your pajamas all day can make it hard to get into a work mode. If you get yourself dressed and ready for work as a daily ritual, you will find it beneficial to your productivity. Plus, you'll be ready for that last minute video meeting that gets put on your calendar!