Top 10 Things You Should/Shouldn't Do as a Telecommuter

You Should...

Let your neighbors know that you ARE employed, you just work from home. In this messy economy, people may suspect the worst when they suddenly realize your car no longer leaves the driveway at 6 a.m. Be proactive before donated canned goods arrive on your doorstep.

Invest in one of these. Hey, you never know when that VP is gonna want you on a teleconference.

Dispel myths. When I tell people I work from home, they ask, "How do you get any work done?" Well, I enjoy getting a paycheck. In fact, I even look forward to it. I get work done because if I didn't, I wouldn't be working. Then I wouldn't get paid. So please let people know that just because you work at home, you still need to actually work.

Be secure. A growing danger to the security of the enterprise is you. As much as you'd like to check out that really funny video of that guy doing that really funny thing, please don't. At least not with your work laptop.

Clean up. A recent study shows home offices harbor more bacteria than cubes. If you feel the need to surround yourself with organisms, get a fish tank.

You Shouldn't...

Farm out your work to an intern. Sure, she could use the credits and the real-world work experience, but it's just not right.

Take more than four naps during work hours. More than four is simply excessive and asking for trouble.

Host an afternoon "Hack the Pentagon" party that subsequently gets raided by federal officers, who proceed to confiscate your laptop, lead you away in cuffs in front of the neighbors and threaten you with trumped-up "enemy of the state" charges. Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.

Abuse happy hour. There's a reason it's called happy hour. One hour. No more. No less.

Blog about telecommuting. You have real work to do. And your last entry about watching that "The Twilight Zone" marathon on the Sci-Fi channel instead of getting back to that "annoying guy" in marketing might land you in The Unemployment Zone.