Could You Handle a Telecommuting Job?

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It sounds like a dream come true—never having to change out of your jammies, skipping the morning gridlock, and spending the day with your labradoodle Fluffy as your only coworker. But what are the downsides of telecommuting? And do you have what it takes to make a successful career by working remotely?

We spoke to several telecommuters about the ups and downs of the virtual workplace, including everything from staying focused to figuring out the furniture situation and accounting for increased heating and electricity bills. If you like the idea of working from home (or a coffee shop, or anywhere that’s not a regular office), do yourself a favor and ask yourself these five simple questions before you commit to a full-time remote position.

Still not sure? Here are a few other resources to help you figure out if telecommuting is a good option for you.

Homework time! Do you think you would enjoy a job that required you to telecommute? If so, be sure to look for companies that have telecommuting or location-flexible opportunities.

If you’re not sure, give yourself an assignment (like making sure your résumé is up-to-date) and a deadline (like 7 p.m. on Sunday). Pay attention to how it goes—can you stick to a deadline? Do you get easily distracted? Did you forget to bring earphones to the coffee shop? Let us know how your little experiment goes!

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