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For Work, There's No Place Like Home

If teleworking interests you, find out whether your employer has a telework program and, if so, what if any equipment (such as a laptop computer, cell phone or remote-access software) is provided to regular teleworkers. Then speak to your supervisor about trying the arrangement on a trial basis, Kaczmarczyk advised.

Experts stressed the importance of being accessible to your colleagues regularly once you start teleworking. That means answering e-mails promptly, checking in regularly with your supervisor and co-workers, and letting people know you're available. Adams does that by e-mailing a reminder to her division director that she is teleworking each morning that she is at home.


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Set some boundaries and ground rules at home to keep distractions to a minimum, suggested Cheryl Demas, author of "It's a Jungle Out There and a Zoo in Here: Run Your Home Business Without Letting It Overrun You" (Warner Business Books, 2003).

Create a separate work space where you can close the door if you need to be isolated from household activities to work. Have someone else care for infants and toddlers while you make phone calls or need quiet. Teach older kids about your expectations for their behavior when you're working and tell them whether they can use your computer or move papers on your desk at other times. Keep loud or active pets away from your work space.

Remember to stretch and get up from the desk often enough to prevent soreness, said Adams, who takes her dog for a walk instead of taking a long lunch break. She also does neck and back exercises at her desk.

Be flexible about rearranging your schedule if your supervisor wants you to come in for an on-site meeting or event on one of your telework days, Adams added.

Also, act professionally during your work hours from home, she said, so that people stop associating working at home with "being in PJs and bunny slippers and having a barking dog."

Adams herself is trying to eliminate that stereotype by working hard and accomplishing much on her two days at home -- and she loves the arrangement. "If I ever look for another job, it would be a requirement that the company offers telework," she said.


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