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Do you want to work from home?

Have you endured enough of the long commutes, office politics and bright fluorescent lights?

Is it time you started to explore the idea of telecommuting?

Is it time to screw up your courage and ask the boss to start a flexible schedule?

Heck, more than a handful of studies have found remote workers are happier, less likely to quit and more productive than their office peers.


Ctrip, a travel website, allowed a portion of its call-centre employees to work from home for nine months. Compared to their in-office peers, the remote workers made 13.5 per cent calls, quit 50 per cent less often and said they were much happier on the job.

Economics professor Nicolas Bloom, who headed the study, said the at-home environment lends to productivity.

“One-third of the productivity increase, we think, was due to having a quieter environment, which makes it easier to process calls,” Bloom says. “At home, people don’t experience what we call the ‘cake in the break room’ effect. Offices are actually incredibly distracting places.”

The right conditions

The most important factor to consider is whether you have the right job for telecommuting.

Think about your day-to-day tasks. Are you required to:

✓ Use equipment that can only be found at the office?
✓ Make face-to-face contact with customers, clientele or executive team members?
✓ Handle sensitive information or materials that cannot leave the building?
✓ Conduct any activity dependent on your physical presence?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re stuck at the office.

If, however, you barely talk to anyone except your teammates in Cubicle Hell and spend most of your time working in the cloud, you may as well be at home in your PJs with the rest of us.

Here are some jobs that fit into the telecommuting category:

✓ Communications and public relations
✓ Writer, technical or creative
✓ Accountant or bookkeeper
✓ Data entry
✓ Auditor
✓ Customer or technical support
✓ Graphic or web designer
✓ Software or mobile app designer
✓ Virtual office assistant
✓ Researcher
✓ Telemarketer
✓ Translator

Once you have all that figured out, it’s time for self-reflection. You need to have the right personality with a dedication to self-motivation, productivity, open communication and accountability.

If it sounds like you, start <a href=”” target=”_blank”>mapping your plan to convince the boss</a> it’s time.

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