Make us your home page
Instagram
Jobs | Telecommuting

Telecommuting? Limit distractions at home

Their main advice: Turn off the TV and say no to naps. The telecommuters we interviewed have different jobs, but they all agree limiting distractions is key to a successful work-from-home setup. Christine Page, 38, St. Petersburg

Freelance Web developer whose main client is a public relations firm in Washington. She has worked from home full-time for six years, from her spare bedroom, and hasn't visited the home office in two years.

What she wears: "I just have jeans and a T-shirt on. But the more alive you look, the more professional you feel."

Perks of teleworking: By 5 p.m. she's ready to get out of the house. She's involved in St. Pete Shuffle and her neighborhood association; she takes her dogs to the park more often.

Biggest distractions: Her dogs and friends calling to shoot the breeze.

What she lets herself do: Laundry and listen to music.

What she doesn't let herself do: "Activities that I think are unacceptable at an office, I don't do at home,'' including ignoring her ringing phone and long chats with friends.

Staying connected: Page uses e-mail, phone and iChat to communicate with her employer and stay in the loop.

Tip for productivity: "Everybody thinks you're working in your pajamas and your house is beautiful all the time 'cause it's all clean all the time, but really your house gets messy, 'cause you're there twice as much." Sean Barbeau, 27, New Tampa

Researcher for the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida. He works from home once every two or three weeks. His office is a spare bedroom.

What he wears: T-shirt and shorts.

Perks of teleworking: Ability to wait for packages or repair workers without scheduling his entire day around it.

Biggest distractions: None, he says.

What he lets himself do: Turn on loud music.

What he doesn't let himself do: Take breaks without making up the time at the end of the day.

Staying connected: Barbeau keeps a computerized schedule so his boss can log on and see what he plans to accomplish each day.

Tip for productivity: Let people know how to reach you, and check your voice mail often. Also, make sure your boss and colleagues know what you're working on. "I think if they have a better feeling for the work that you're actually getting done while you're at home, they'd be much more likely to allow you to continue to telework." Greg Miller, 28, St. Petersburg

Senior planner for the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. The company allows employees to work from home up to one day a week. Miller telecommutes once or twice a month.

What he wears: T-shirt and shorts.

Perks of teleworking: Fewer interruptions, extra sleep, no need to pack a lunch, freedom from shaving (unless he has a meeting), and the ability to go jogging and shower at lunchtime.

Biggest distractions: His dog, Bentley, and the allure of kitchen snacks.

What he lets himself do: Prep dinner for 10 minutes and take out the dog.

What he doesn't let himself do: "If there was a sporting event on TV I wanted to see, I wouldn't telework because that would be a distraction, to think about watching that."

Staying connected: Company policy dictates that Miller check his office voice mail every two hours, and his co-workers have his cell number. He e-mails his supervisor when he has finished an assigned task.

Tip for productivity: Find a workspace that's comfortable and limits interruptions.

Telecommuting? Limit distractions at home 08/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 29, 2008 1:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa chamber of commerce votes against tax increase on business property

    Retail

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday voted against supporting a city of Tampa plan to raise taxes on commercial properties in the city for 2018. The property tax, included in the city's proposed $974 million budget, would boost taxes from $5.73 to $6.33 for every $1,000 in property value.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted against supporting a city tax hike on commercial property. Pictured is Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the chamber. | [Times file photo]
  2. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?

    Agriculture

    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  3. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway

    Business

    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.
  5. Back to life: Event helps Riverview revert to peaceful pace after Irma

    Human Interest

    RIVERVIEW — Robin and Ray Castell say establishing residency in the Winthrop Village was one of the best decisions of their lifetime.

    hillsbrandon092217: Meredith Tucker of Riverview, the mother of two children and another one soon on the way, browses the racks of Dot Dot Smile children?€™s clothing as company merchandiser Kelcie Schranck, standing behind her in the black shirt, looks on during the first-of-its-kind Recruiting the Community event on Sept. 17 at the Barn at Winthrop in Riverview. Photo by Joyce McKenzie.