Working remotely seems like a godsend, but is it really as easy-breezy as it sounds? As it turns out, working from home is a huge adjustment for both the employee and the employer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Here are five ways you can ensure that you’re not wearing out your welcome as telecommuter and that you still wow your boss from the comfort of your own home (office).
(Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr)
Being given the opportunity to work remotely is something most working adults would gladly accept, and many employers are starting to see the benefits of allowing employees to work from home, too. Not only do remote workers have zero commute on the days they work from home, but they don’t have to deal with annoying co-workers and constant interruptions. They also have the liberty to work in their pajamas, and their work-life balance improves greatly. Who wouldn’t jump on this opportunity?
According to Gallup, full-time employees working remotely now make up 39 percent of full-time workers, and about 15 percent of those employees working from home full-time. However, as green as the work-from-home grass may appear, there are definitely some big adjustments that remote workers need to be aware of that, if ignored, can be devastating to their performance, reputation, or, worst-case scenario, employment. Here are five ways to help you make a seamless and successful adjustment to your new, cushy at-home work setup.
1. Manage Up: Seeing that you’re, essentially, without a boss when you’re working from home, you’re going to need to take the initiative to “manage up” and ensure that you and your superiors (and subordinates, for that matter) are on the same page as you are on a daily, maybe even hourly, basis. Don’t be afraid to check in on the happening of the office as you would if you were physically there.
2. Communicate Well and Often: “I can’t read your mind.” When you’re not physically in the office, it’s harder to gauge what/when/how you’re doing your job, so communicate with your boss and team members clearly and frequently to ensure everything is getting taken care of in a timely and efficient manner. The last thing you want as a remote worker is to be physically and mentally absent, because that is how your colleagues will lose trust in your abilities to get things done away from the office.
3. Be Hyper-Productive on Your Own: If you want to keep your awesome work-from-home setup, then you better get really good at being super-duper productive, because that’s how you’re going to earn your keep while being absent from the office. Proving that you can be just as productive, if not more, from home is really going to put you on the A-list at work. Your colleagues and superiors want to believe in you and trust you, which is why they agreed to allow you to work from home in the first place. Prove them right and show that you can be just as productive from the comforts of your own home as you are when you’re present in the office.
4. Be Transparent and Clear: Working hard, or hardly working? Don’t be one of those sneaky remote workers who thinks that, because he isn’t physically in the office, the boss doesn’t “see” what he’s really doing … which is a whole lot of nothing. Be transparent about when you will and won’t be available, set clear objectives and deadlines (and meet them), and treat your co-workers holding down the fort/office the way you want to be treated.
5. Don’t Take Your “Special Treatment” for Granted: Understand that your employer is giving your preferential treatment by allowing you to work from home, so don’t take that for granted or take advantage of your situation. A big no-no for remote workers is trying to hide the fact that you’re not working by making excuses for missed deadlines, being absent when called upon, and not being prompt with responses. Ignoring calls regarding work is a good indicator that you’re not truly taking your work-from-home luxury seriously, and you’re only giving your boss a reason to doubt you and your abilities.
Now that you know what you need to do to make your remote work situation a successful one, it’s time to negotiate that flexible schedule. You’re one step closer to making your everyday job into your dream career. Good luck!
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