How To Telecommute: Check E-mail Often, Work On Weekends?

Are you telecommuting, perhaps because your employer wants to save on office costs or because you want to have a little more freedom?

Lindsey Miller at Ragan.com offers some tips for being productive while away from the office.

Among them: check e-mail first thing in the morning, and work on weekends (until 5p.m., the article seems to imply). Also on the list: decide when to quit and stick to it (then Miller suggests 7 p.m. as a quitting time).

As a long time home office user, our suggestions are a bit different.
Checking e-mail first thing can be an OK way to wake up, but the first thing to get done when you sit down at your computer is something productive (admit it, in the morning your inbox is just clogged with newsletters, press releases, and the Groupon of the day). Obsessive e-mail checking is actually a productivity killer—just as bad as watching Law & Order reruns while you’re “working.”

And as for working on weekends, well, you probably won’t need to. As long as you can get over the initial hump of telecommuting, which is the period of time where you want to do nothing but watch TV, raid the fridge, and do laundry, you’re going to get more work done from home than you ever thought possible at work. So if you want to take off in the middle of the day to go to the gym, yeah, you’ll make up for it later, but not by working four hours on Saturday. Just take your Blackberry to the gym and fire off a few e-mails in between cardio and strength training.

Any other work-from-homers want to chime in?