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Are you tough enough to handle telecommuting?

I’ve always considered myself ahead of the trends.

I wore fringes on my Peter Pan boots in junior high before anyone else knew who Bon Jovi was.

When everyone was telling me how great Slippery When Wet was, I was already moved onto the next great thing.

Then again … I grew up in a really small town and everybody was behind the times by five years ago, even if they were ahead of everyone else.

But now I read the headlines that declare the “workplace predictions of 2014.”

Two weeks ago, I wrote that telecommuting was set to become a workplace trend.

Now Jessica Brondo of tells Fox Business that the privilege to work from home is a hiring perk.

“We give all of our employees the option to work from home or come into the office, and it has totally changed the talent pool for new hires,” she told recently. “We’re in the education space and sell test prep and admissions counseling products to teens and their parents. By allowing employees to work from home, we’ve actually been able to hire a lot of moms and dads, who offer the best perspective on our products.”

Telecommuting has its moments

I’m not going to lie to you. Telework has its challenges.

Yep, the benefits are plenty. We’ve talked about them many times, not the least of which are cost savings to the employee and the employer.

BOLT, an auto insurance company out of Connecticut, issued this infographic last year to demonstrate the benefits of working from home:

benefits of employee telecommuting infographic
Via: BOLT Insurance

But it isn’t always sunshine and lollipops.

The cons of telecommuting

Before you jump at the opportunity to work from home, you should know a few things.

1. Work is always RIGHT THERE. Some days, I don’t even change out of my PJs before I sit at my desk and start typing. Heck, it could be late afternoon before I’ve even realized I’ve forgotten to shower or brush my teeth. Yeah, I know how gross that sounds.

2. You can forget to stop working. Funny thing about telecommuting … I’ve stopped clock-watching, waiting for 5 p.m. to roll around so I can go home and hang out with my dog. My dog is always right next to me now.

3. You can go days without leaving the house. OK, well … except to walk the dog. When it’s cold and snowy — and it’s January in Canada, so that’s typical — I’m rather inclined to stay inside. Until cabin fever sets in.

4. If you live alone, you lose the social element of the office atmosphere. It can be so great that the dog doesn’t talk back. But then you go a while without talking to someone and you find yourself wishing he spoke your language. Take note of the people trying to extend the length of conference call .. they might work at home and need someone to talk to.

A telecommuter needs a certain personality. She requires little external motivation, is dedicated and performs to the expectations set by her management team.

She must be results-oriented, independent and innovative. She must have excellent communications skills, ready to address successes and obstacles over any medium, such as conference calls, web conferences, email and chat messaging.

Is this you? Are you ready to join the telecommuting workforce and stay at home?

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