Telecommuting is the ability to work from home or work remotely, without having to commute into the office. The Tysons TMA promotes telecommuting as a sustainable transportation option because it allows employees to stay off the roads during peak commuting times while at the same time getting work done from the convenience of their home or a satellite location closer to home.

Telecommuting offers the ability to maintain a work-life balance and for people who have been able to take advantage of it, more job satisfaction and productivity. Telecommuting is also great for people with families because of the flexibility of being able to pick up kids from school or daycare and being able to decide when and where they work.

What are the challenges to working from home?

Some people may find they have a harder time staying focused at home, especially if there is someone else who is home at the same time. It is important to set up a work station in the house and commit to working during certain hours. Taking breaks is encouraged throughout the day, but try to minimize distractions such as the TV.

Are there certain jobs that are better suited to working from home?

Absolutely. People who primarily use their computers to get their work done and find that they can do their work just about anywhere are the best candidates for telecommuting. This can include people who perform analysis, conduct academic research, write reports, project management, customer service, editing, computer programming, data entry, and graphic design. More and more jobs have the flexibility of being performed anywhere with technology such as virtual conference calls, remote access and email.

I would love to be able to do this, how do I convince my employer to offer telecommuting?

The primary barrier to telecommuting is often management resistance. Many managers like to be able to see their employees at their job in order to rate their job performance. But this can be overcome with training, clear expectations, defined work responsibilities, and with some investment in technology to work collaboratively.

TeleworkVA is a free resource that helps businesses create or expand their telework program. They’ll help businesses lay out a clear path, using real success stories and testimonials, sample documents and policies and many other tools to help you get started. Resources and training modules for managers and teleworkers are also provided to help develop and implement a successful, customized telework program.