Working from Home? Don’t Make These Mistakes

With the recent emphasis on flexible scheduling in the American workplace, many workers — at different levels — are now afforded the opportunity to work from home at times. However, if you’re like me, the few times I’ve actually done this, I didn’t make it out of my flannel pajama pants. This article from Forbes explains why that’s not a great idea, and offers the 10 mistakes people often make. Here’s a bulleted list, but read the entire piece:

  1. Failing to smile when you pick up the phone. Just as customer service reps are taught, you come across on the phone better when smiling.
  2. Not getting dressed. Looking good gives you confidence.
  3. Having bad posture. It can lead you to acting too casually.
  4. Looking like a terrorist on Skype……..don’t do that.
  5. Having unflattering props around in a conference call. Beer mugs, kids’ toys, ashtrays, etc. don’t inspire confidence in your peers.
  6. Saying "no" in emails. If you’re giving someone bad news, call them. The personal touch is appreciated.
  7. Poor e-mail length. Be clear in what you’re asking others to do. Lengthy emails can lead to confusion of what’s expected, and short emails can appear stuffy (e.g. "Fine."; "Thanks.")
  8. Ignoring the noises around your house. If you’re on the phone, hearing lawnmowers or kids yelling "Marco! Polo!" may not win your client over.
  9. Forgetting the virtual handshake. Start a conversation with personal information to set a pleasant tone.
  10. Thinking you’re alone. You’re still connected to the professional world, so don’t multitask too much with personal tasks like laundry.