Remote work has been gaining momentum for some time now, and it is most certainly here to stay. As shown in the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report for 2019, some 72% of surveyed professionals revealed that upscaled job flexibility would be one of the determining factors in the marketing and human resources industries’ future success.
People tend to choose this work model for various benefits, such as more flexible timetables, less stress, more time for loved ones, better health, etc. Still, there are plenty of things to watch out for, as most people make simple mistakes during and after the process of transitioning to the remote work lifestyle. Let’s dive into it.
What to Bear in Mind Before Going Remote
Being a remote worker ultimately depends on your manager or boss. Thus, you should remember that it all starts with asking to telecommute. If you are not sure how to do it, read on.
You need to be fully prepared for such a conversation. No matter how successful you are, or how many people you have under you, take this conversation seriously—your superior must see that you have entertained this idea for some time now.
Some questions you can expect are:
- What makes you a good worker in comparison to others?
- How do you think other team members will be affected by your work model?
- Will this be a good example for others to follow?
- What makes your work position remote work worthy?
Once you have all those questions covered, you are ready to talk to your manager.
Put professional benefits first. As we previously mentioned, remote workers reap the benefits every day. They are often more likely to manipulate their schedules to balance both personal and professional life and usually have a more flexible approach to working hours.
However, as much as your superiors might care for your needs and health, they will likely be concerned if you will be able to perform equally well at home.
Once you meet with your manager or boss, make sure to propose the following:
- Remote workers show an increased level of productivity.
- Each employer saves the company quite a bit of money. When employees work remotely, they cut transportation costs, save money on office supplies, utilities, etc.
- The company’s retention rates are increased. Remote workers can work from anywhere. Therefore, if an employee wants to move elsewhere, the company will not suffer.
- Most people overlook the fact that a lot of in-person communication often induces stress. Some people are much more productive and stress-free when they work in the comfort of their own home.
Do not let the first “no” get the best of you. Not to sound pessimistic, but the first conversation of this type might just boil down to this word. If it does, take it slowly. Next time, suggest working remotely for a day each week. It will ease your superiors into this work model, and show them you are determined to get your way without being disrespectful. To return the favor, offer to take on more responsibilities, and you might succeed.
Be honest with yourself and others. This might be the most important step of all. Ask yourself whether you will be equally or even more productive once you leave the office. Think about if you can turn any room in your house into a personalized workspace that will inspire your work. Take into account whether you need to talk face-to-face with your colleagues to be able to collaborate adequately, or virtual workspaces will suffice.
If you feel like there is something that can go wrong at some point, be entirely honest—the remote work model does not suit everyone equally. Figure out what keeps you from being positive about all these points, and see if you can get past the issue.
What Happens When You Become a Remote Worker?
If you have become a telecommuter, congrats! You made it. Now, the hard part kicks in—you have to prove to your superiors and colleagues you can pursue everything you bargained for. You might be setting precedents, and you need to live up to them. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Do not overwork yourself to leave the impression that you are still doing your job. If you have already made this mistake, worry not. Considering that no one can see you work, you might think it appears you do less than expected. All that is quite normal since you do not want to underperform.
Still, avoid burnout at all costs by remaining connected to your virtual workspace and the people you previously shared the office with. Stay in touch daily, hold each other accountable, and try to be as available as you can for your colleagues. You will be seen as reliable, and in turn, you will feel much better.
Do not isolate yourself entirely. One of the most common mistakes remote workers make is working alone all the time. Working hours are long, and being isolated for such large chunks of time is unhealthy.
Rather than staying in your home every day, mix it up every once in a while. There are plenty of ways to continue being surrounded by people and still be focused on your job. You can work at your favorite cafe, join a coworking space, visit a foreign country and work there, or even enroll in a work and travel program.
Stay true to your previously set goals, know what to expect, and use your redefined timetable to your full advantage. We know how important it is to stay both professional and productive. Still, think about your personal goals and things you want to pursue as a remote worker.
If you want to brush up on your skills to make yourself more ready for your current or future job, do your best. If you are (back) in school, try to balance good grades and a good work ethic. If you have tons of family obligations, as a lot of remote workers do, by all means, use flexible working hours to your advantage. Otherwise, your remote work makes no difference.
Remember that you need to keep up with the times and that not all coworkers will always be available. As technology progresses every day, you will need to keep up. Make sure you install relevant productivity apps that let you work and stay in touch with your colleagues. Also, if your workflow includes a fair amount of talking, choose video over voice calls.
Once you start using them, you will see that most of your coworkers are not available for contact instantly. Remain patient, and focus on something else you can do in the meantime.
Yes, there are several things to look out for before and after starting to work remotely. Most of them include your coworkers and superiors, which is why you need to work smart and be ready for collaboration.
Still, if you are confident that the remote work model is the right choice, you can prosper and break your everyday work routine. There is a lot to gain and not much to lose. Make time for self-reflection and give remote work a try.
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