Six quick tips for the first time teleworker

Monday - 1/17/2011, 4:00am EST

As the deep south was hit by more than just a deep freeze, the Clean Air Campaign wrote a letter to the editor (we'll assume it was e-mail) of the Woodstock-Towne Lake (Ga.) Patch offering Telework Tips for the Stranded.

If you, or someone you know, are new to telework, these might help!

Start with a plan: Make a list of things to do throughout the day and include a timeline to help you stay focused.

Stay organized: Keep your work space free of the clutter that tends to build up at home, like mail, games, magazines, homework, etc.

Stay connected: Make sure that you are easily accessible by phone, e-mail and/or instant messaging. Touch base with your teammates and supervisor to inform them of your progress.

Check your e-mail: Even if you don't have full VPN access, you may be able to accomplish a few smaller tasks and stay connected to co-workers and clients by checking webmail - or your smartphone, if you have access to one.

Minimize distractions: Avoid working in a noisy spot or in front of the TV. If you have kids home from school, plan ahead by scheduling games, activities and movies to keep them engaged while you telework. Make snacks and meals the night before.

Charge up: Make sure you keep up the charge in your cell phone and laptop so you can continue to work even if you temporarily lose power.