For many people, telecommuting is the ultimate dream working situation.

No more long commutes in slow traffic, no more office politics, just busy days in a home office in your sweatpants. The reality of working in a remote office space is often pretty far from what you might imagine, but you can find real success in remote work if you plan ahead and set your space up for success.

Getting Remote Office Space Right

Whether you spring for an office in a shared remote work space or you plan to set up shop in your home, getting that office space put together properly should be your first priority. Instead of planning your office as an afterthought, make your work space job one. Everything will flow from that, think it through before putting it all together.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Put a door between you and the world. A lot of co-working spaces are wide open and, while that may work for teams that are cooperating on projects, it’s a situation that will challenge the focus of any sort of solo worker. You’ll get lonely and bored and want to connect with the people around you, but, hey, you should be working. Don’t let those wide open spaces tempt you, put a door between yourself and the rest of the world and your focus will stay where it belongs.
  2. Make sure your home office does just one thing. Your office shouldn’t be a home office slash daycare center or home office slash laundry room. It should be a home office. When you shut the door, it should be an office space just like it would be anywhere else. Try not to mix duty with your office, keep it to the one job and treat it just like a space in a corporate building.
  3. Remove distractions. Remote work is filled with opportunities for distraction, from emails full of things to shop for to people who are wrong on social media and must be immediately corrected. In addition, you’ll have to establish boundaries with family and friends early and often, since they may not really understand that you’re working remotely and not just goofing off at home or in some weird shared office space.
  4. Get a little help. If your job involves a lot of phone work, hiring an answering service with a virtual receptionist can give your remote office space a lot of street cred with almost no effort. The cost of this service is low, since it’s based on how many calls the service handles, and you’ll look like a total pro with a real receptionist because the virtual receptionist team is very small, made up of just a few people across all shifts. 

If you are looking for more information on becoming a customer service representative, be sure to visit our Answering Service Job Opportunities page.