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Do You Have What It Takes To Work From Home?

Working from home can make you less productive.

Working from home is a great option especially when you’re sick and tired of going to work—which can feel like hell with EDSA traffic. You won’t have to deal with traffic, heat, and pollution anymore. You won’t spend extra on gas and parking. You can wake up much later. You can even work on your bed or your couch, and eat while you’re at it!

But it’s not for everybody. As comfortable as it may be, it might not be best for your work life. Here’s what you need to know before you can say working from home is for you. (Of course, your boss might have stricter standards.)

1. Impeccable internet connection. Your online presence is the presence that your boss, the rest of the company, and your clients will be counting on. If you can’t even open a web page, much less send an e-mail or go on Skype, you can’t get any work done.

2. Fast-working desktop/laptop. There shouldn’t be any lag when you have more than 12 tabs open, you’re using Word, and playing music on iTunes. Every task has to go smoothly and swiftly.

3. You’re focused. Your focus depends on you, not on external objects. Can you work without constantly checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Can you work without thinking about unrelated things?

4. You know how to separate work from family and personal time. Unlike office workers who can switch off their work mode as soon as they step out of the building, people who work from home are still in their working environment. At what point will you stop working when you keep receiving e-mails at dinnertime? It’s also likely that your boss can take your “work from home” status to mean that you’re always on call.

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5. You know how to keep yourself energized. Being snug on your couch will make you sleepy when you need to be up. So drink your coffee, snack on fruits, stretch, do whatever will keep you alert.

6. You write clearly. You’ll be writing a lot of e-mails to various people you coordinate with. You must be able to articulate yourself through writing, spell your words correctly and have decent grammar at least, and know how to sound polite when you’re pissed.

7. You can give thorough updates on your work. Your boss is going to ask you every now and then how your project is doing, so you have to have good news for him every time. Good news being more and more progress.

8. You can meet deadlines without constant reminders from others. You have to admit that the physical presence of a superior pressures people to accomplish their tasks. Without that, you’re pretty much your own oil and tank.

9. You can work on your own. If you’re the type to get energy in the company of people, working from home where you’re pretty much secluded might just get you down and reduce your productivity.

10. You can deal with higher bills and having more expenses. Working from home also means you’re using your resources. So don’t be surprised if your electric bill is much higher now compared to when you worked in an office.

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