Advances in digital communication have made it easier for colleagues to stay in touch, which has led to a steady growth of telecommuters. Remote work comprises a wide variety of situations, like professionals who spend a lion’s share of their time on the road and those who work 100% out of a home office.
Whatever your situation, remote work has its challenges. Whether you’re an experienced telecommuter, or trying it out for the first time, here are some ways to thrive in these settings:
- Know Yourself: Your success as a telecommuter is largely dependent on knowing who you are as a person and professional. It’s important to know the answers to these questions:
- Are you an introvert or extrovert?
- What type of communicator are you?
- Are you the type that is self-motivated?
- What are the communication tendencies of your team?
Once you have these answers, you’ll be better prepared to handle working remotely. This proactive approach will allow you to set up an overall professional framework that will increase your chances of success.
- Engage and Interact: Just because you’re in a different location doesn’t mean that voice and visual communications with your colleagues needs to fall by the wayside. Technology is your friend!
There are countless options out there to simplify interacting with all levels of your organization. From FaceTime (for iOS users) to Skype to GoToMeeting, staying in close contact with your team should be seamless. Even if you’re not a “tech person,” all of the programs mentioned are user friendly – and have desktop and smartphone versions. And for the more traditional people, there’s always the telephone.
- Control Your Environment: For those working from home, it can be challenging not to let your entire house turn into your office. Avoid this at all costs. This is important to your productivity, sanity, and even your personal relationships.
Choose one or two places in your living space that are “work zones,” such as an office or a quiet place with little to no foot traffic. If you live alone this is easy, but setting ground rules with your spouse, children, or roommates is necessary. Let them know when you are on the clock, especially when you’re scheduled to be on any calls.
With your spouse and roommates, a simple do not disturb sign or daily schedule affixed to your office door should do the trick. With younger children, you may have to be a little creative, such as turning it into a game or promising 15 minutes of play time after the call is over.
Presented by Trident’s Center for Career Development and Workforce Strategies, the webinar “How to Thrive as a Remote Employee” was broadcast on Feb. 22nd. Watch the recording below for more tips and advice for telecommuting success.