Money Quick Tips: Make telecommuting work for you

Ten percent of workers work from home at least some of the time, often to save time and money on their commute, according to data recently released by the Census Bureau[1].

It’s a growing trend, and you have to try it on for size to see if it’s a fit for you and to find out just how much time and money you’re saving — or not.

Far and away the biggest issue to consider: Expect to be distracted.

Telecommuting is great, except for the dog, the kids, the laundry and home repairs calling your name. As one freelancer cautions, keep this metric in mind: The cleaner your house, the lower your next performance review.

According to Regus[2], a provider of flexible workspace, almost half of American professionals admit they have difficulty maintaining productivity when working from home. The top three distractions[3]:

1. Children and family wanting attention.

2. Children, family, pets disturbing work telephone calls.

3. Difficulties accessing office equipment. Make sure you have IT support through your employer or get it on your own.

So what’s the workaround?

Every once in awhile consider making the local library your office if you need quiet to focus on something.

Find ways to establish a presence outside the home where you can meet with colleagues and clients, print documents or focus at a desk instead of the couch.

Check your airline or hotel loyalty program: They may offer access to business lounges around the world with free Wi-Fi, coffee and places to plug in devices.

Regina Lewis is a national television contributor and host of USA TODAY’s biweekly “Money Quick Tips” videos. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaLewis.

Previous Money Quick Tips:

Job loss, finances and marriage[4]

Is online shopping about to get more expensive?[5]

Coping with higher taxes[6]

Five trends affecting your 2013 buying power[7]

Financial pros and cons of getting remarried[8]

Improving your credit score[9]

Talking to teens about money[10]

The costs of life insurance[11]

Be aware of pricing psychology[12]

Should you stay put or sell the house when retiring?[13]

Six job tips in ninety seconds[14]

When is the best time to start a small business[15]

Can you afford to live to 100?[16]

Exploring work at home opportunities[17]

Saving enough for retirement so you don’t run short[18]

Best days of the week to shop and score deals[19]

Housing trend favors adding more bedrooms[20]

Cutting your auto repair costs[21]

Five steps to becoming a saver[22]


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