Guest Blogger and Copy Writer Tom Rowsell shares information about being a home worker or telecommuter and keeping in contact with your co-workers or employees.

If you’re not a freelancer but you work from home, then you have to keep in touch with the folks at the office. Whether it’s your boss, your subordinates or your employees, good communications are what keep a business together; just like a family. You should always have your mobile handy, and no doubt you will be checking your emails frequently, but this is not enough.

What you lose from the office environment by working at home is the ability to quickly run ideas and questions past each other. A phone call or email is slightly more formal, time consuming and doesn’t feel the same as a stop-n-chat. In the office there are situations when it is appropriate to email someone in another department with a formal request, including relevant information, so that there is a record of it. It’s those informal and impulsive communications that are lost by working from home, so you can’t casually enquire about the details of some matter that has already been discussed in a meeting or email.

Work at Home Resource GuideSkype and Google Hangouts are both great for telecommuting to meetings. You can see everyone and speak to them as though you were there but the really great thing about Skype is the chat function. You can do this with Google Chat or any messaging system really, but the key is for all employees, wherever they may be, to be logged in to that messaging system during working hours. Instant messaging restores the potential for informal idea sharing which improves efficiency, productivity and is crucial if you want to nurture innovation.

Let’s say you receive an update from your boss about what you are supposed to be working on that day. You’re eager to get stuck in, but some of the instructions were ambiguous. You might not want to bother your employer with a call asking him to clarify things, so you choose to just get on with the work instead. You send him the work in the afternoon, only to find that it wasn’t what was needed at all. An entire morning’s work was wasted and this could have been avoided with some simple and quick communications. A bit of back and forth on Skype and everyone one is fully aware of what is required and why. It makes a major difference. Get all your colleagues and clients on there if you can and see how much time you save.

Author Bio: Tom Rowsell is a professional blogger and copy writer whose employers have frequently required him to work from home. He works with the UK translations agency EmpowerLingua.