Ragan.com by remote: 7 telecommuting tips that HR won’t tell you

Working from home requires some effort. If you’re going to love it, you’ll have to avoid common pitfalls and pay attention to the intangibles.

I love working remotely.

There are fewer distractions, no dress code, better coffee, and a sense of freedom. In theory, I can work anywhere: a coffee shop, a bar, the beach, you name it.

But it’s only an illusion of freedom.

In reality, I’m still parked at a desk, tuned into the midday loneliness that only mail carriers and stay-at-home parents experience. Ever been outside around 11 a.m. on a Tuesday in a city neighborhood or suburb? It’s quiet—too quiet.

Working from home requires effort. If you’re going to love it as I do, you’ll have to pay attention to these intangibles and avoid common pitfalls. Here’s some advice:

Create a soundtrack. The silence of your home office can be deafening. Even if your corporate office is quiet, there are still the occasional outbursts of conversation or laughter (or your cube mate’s phone call that you pretend you’re not hearing). Unless you want to talk to yourself—or your pets—fill that dead air with music. The best part of your morning might be sipping coffee and creating your playlist for the day.

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