Culture 8 min read

Telework: A Simple Guide to Help you Work From Home Efficiently

maryna rodyukova /

maryna rodyukova /

What Does Telework Mean?

Telework refers to a work arrangement where an employee doesn’t commute to the primary office for work. Instead, the individual works from home or an off-site work location.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and General Services Administration (GSA) use the term for reporting purposes. The government agency defined telework as:

“Work arrangements in which an employee regularly performs officially assigned duties at home.”

In other words, telework is any situation where employees perform work duties outside of the regular office location. It’s not the same as taking some work home or off-site work and travels like sales.

Telework is any situation where employees perform work duties outside of the regular office location.
Image Credit: Joshuamiranda |

Employees have never had to telework on such a broad scale.

Before now, roughly 43 percent of U.S. workers had to work remotely in some capacity, whether it means telecommuting once a week or less. But the coronavirus pandemic has raised this number even further.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the United States has over 300,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 12,000 deaths.

Social distancing has quickly become a necessary measure to curb the spread of the disease across the nation. As a result, employers have been transitioning to teleworking policies.

Unfortunately, working from home is not as easy as you would imagine.

In a recent survey, only 18 percent said that they’re able to work from home, and are doing so.

Meanwhile, 17 percent said they’re unable to work from home, but are still going to do so anyway. Another 15 percent of the participants said they are not able to telecommute and don’t intend to do it.

What are the Benefits of Teleworking

Outlined below are some advantages of working from home.
Image Credit: DarkWorkX |

Here are some advantages of working from home.

1. It’s Cheaper to Telework

Telecommuting is significantly cheaper.

You’ll notice the immediate effect of working from home in your bank account. Along with removing the cost of commuting, you’ll also save money in other areas.

For example, instead of spending those extra dollars on food, you could quickly whip up your breakfast and throw in a cup of coffee.

2. Flexible Schedule

You can do tons of work remotely nowadays on a more flexible schedule.

Ninety-seven percent of workers say a job with flexibility would have a vast improvement or positive impact on their overall quality of life.

For example, programmers and content creators code and write whenever it suits them. As long as you consistently meet your deadline, you can put in your work at any time of the day.

Moreover, working from home allows you to enjoy your break the way you never could at work. Whether it’s playing your favorite instrument or busting some samba moves, you’re guaranteed to return refreshed and ready to go.

3. Become Independent

In a regular office location, there’s always a tech team one floor down to attend to your needs.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case when you’re telecommuting. You must find the solutions and become more proactive with identifying your needs.

Of course, you can still ask questions if need be. However, you’ll find yourself depending on Google Search, downloading free guides, and checking out your company’s wiki for answers.

In other words, you’ll end up with some skills simply because you need them to work remotely.

4. Effective Communication and Meetings

Meetings in stuffy conference rooms can be tedious and exhausting, regardless of the quality of coffee or donuts up for grabs. Working remotely, on the other hand, gives you more options.

Thanks to tons of video conferencing apps, your meeting can be more useful than ever. Forget about printing out relevant documents or having colleagues search their emails.

You could use the chat function in the video call app to share essential files. What’s more, you’ll also be able to include urgent comments without interrupting anyone.

Some examples of video conferencing software to consider include Skype for Business, Google MeetGoogle HangoutCisco Webex, etc.

5. Stay More Focused

At first, you’ll need some willpower to prevent your television or your next load of laundry from distracting you. But, as time progresses, you’ll establish a steady routine and get more done when working remotely.

Remote workers say they work more than 40 hours per week, 43 percent more than on-site workers do.

That’s because teleworking gives you more control over your work situation. No co-workers are stopping by every other hour or obligatory socializing when you grab a cup of coffee.

Working from home allows you to concentrate better. First, change your status in the group to “do not disturb,” then dive right into the work at hand.

To be clear, telework is not suitable for all job types or positions. However, when practiced correctly, it could prove valuable in these challenging times.

Telework During COVID-19: Tips to Help you Work From Home Efficiently

Here are some tips to help you work from home during the current pandemic.
Image Credit: thedarknut |

Here are some tips to help you work from home during the current pandemic.

1. Get The Necessary Technology

Teleworking is only possible if you have your technology in order.

So, bring your laptop home, and don’t forget the charger too. If you don’t have one, ask your supervisor if you can take your desktop computer home.

Of course, the technology aspect is not complete without software. Some popular applications that remote workers use include:

Communication Platforms

Project Management Tools

Document Writing Tools

File Sharing / Cloud Storage

With that said, you must ensure that you can use these technologies from home.

Talk to your IT department and find out what you may need — whether its a secure line or security key. Once you have the right technology in place, it’s time to consider the next step.

2. Setup Your Internet for Telework

Bandwidth is an essential part of your new telecommuting lifestyle.

Many companies have had to cancel non-essential work travel and conferences due to the current pandemic. As a result, businesses now depend on online video conferencing, which requires a good internet connection.

Unfortunately, bandwidth can be low, and specific apps can hog a large part of your connection. So, shut down these programs if you have to, and switch to audio if you can.

Although using audio-only may defeat the purpose of a video conference, you’ll still be able to participate in conversations.

3. Manage Expectations

Now that you have all the tools necessary to work remotely, consider the expectations.

Talk to your manager to identify your priorities, and discuss how to complete your tasks. Also, you want to settle other vital matters such as:

  • How to track progress
  • Will there be standing meetings at specific times?
  • How you’ll communicate — for example, Slack or email

Not only is it essential to discuss these questions, but you must also be honest about what isn’t working.

Telework is a new experience for many companies and their workers. However, honest communication would ultimately improve your work process. Eventually, you’ll become efficient at working from home.

4. Keep the Kids Busy

With schools closing to stop COVID-19 from spreading, kids are stuck at home too. That means you must make plans for education and entertainment during this period.

For education, consider stocking up on books and puzzles. Also, you may want to subscribe to kids-friendly streaming services to watch educational shows.

At the same time, you could set up virtual playdates via video chat. Meanwhile, platforms such as Roblox could enable kids to chat while playing games together.

Whatever method you may choose to keep your kids engaged, note that you’re balancing work with child care. As such, you must have a realistic expectation of how many tasks you can complete.

5. Know Your Strength and Weaknesses

If you’re easily distracted, then you may want to put yourself in a professional mindset while working from home.

That means doing everything you would do when going to a physical work location, from dressing up to doing your hair. Then, create a space at home that looks and feels like an office to you.

Your hours must match too. These involve maintaining the same lunchtime and shutting your work down at the time you would typically leave the office.

The goal is to know yourself first. After that, you can develop a work habit that’ll help increase productivity and happiness.

To Wrap Up

Teleworking has evolved beyond a family-friendly work arrangement.

Instead, it has become a management tool necessary to keep businesses running in the current COVID-19 pandemic. When done correctly, not only can remote works improve performance, but it could increase employee satisfaction too.

With that said, remote work also has a significant downside.

Working from home could blur specific boundaries, causing workers to associate their home with their work roles. And this could result in your job repeatedly intruding upon family time.

However, establishing the perfect working routine address this issue.

As you get used to this routine, you’ll come to appreciate the essential benefits of teleworking. Rather than waste precious time commuting, you’ll have time for those that matter — your family.

Read More: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Personal Blog in 2020

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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    Billy Bishop April 13 at 2:38 pm GMT

    Some great recommendations here! we are using “Restyaboard”, another fantastic one that’s worth checking out! One of the best Remote Collaboration Tools to make it easy and efficient to work from home.

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