How to be effective with telecommuting
The best workers in the world employ habits to commit to their responsibilities, at their best, within the specified period of time. Even when working remotely, a professional employee will always get the job done. In today’s modern world, telecommuting is not an option anymore but rather a preset benefit for trustworthy employees. This is a result of a prevailing global nature of changes in the economic and employment systems.
Working at home is great on many levels. Especially in crowded urban areas, not having to commute saves you a great deal of money, energy and time. Plus, if you want to work in sweats and pajamas, you definitely can. If this is the kind of work-life balance all of us workers in the world are looking for for so long, then we have found the answer.
But there are challenges, as well. Given the excessive amount of “freedom” remote workers have, what could possibly go wrong within an eight-hour work period? For one, the bed can be so inviting. Working behind closed doors is an opportunity seeking for naps (and plenty of them, we’re just humans), kids running around can distract your concentration, and friends can pop up in the middle of the day. It goes to say that without telecommuting work guidelines, managing remote employees can quickly become a boss’s worst nightmare.
Following these simple guidelines can help you making telecommuting effective:
Have a fully-equipped workspace
Telecommuting doesn’t necessarily limit to “working from home” alone. Telecommuting, as defined, is maintaining a traditional office life but from an alternative work site 1 to 3 days a week. Telecommuting refers more specifically to work undertaken at a location that reduces commuting time. These locations can be at home or at some other remote workplace, for example co-working places, which is facilitated through a broadband connection, computer or phone lines, or any other electronic media used to interact and communicate. For example, most organizations nowadays operate at a centralized organizational workspace close to the telecommuters’ location. By pre-reserving a meeting space, these people continue to work daily.
Define your goals
Regardless if you are working alone or with a team, setting a schedule can ultimately guide you in meeting your deadlines. Still continue reporting the daily updates on your deliverables wherever you are and where you are at in the project. Create a list of your activities for the day so you won’t slack through the eight hours without a plan. Write down your updates for the day into three categories: What have I done yesterday? What will I do today? What are the hindrances to my tasks? Documenting your tasks can help you in the long run especially when your boss asks for your achievements in the project, or if your team is following a strict metric system.
Establish effective communication methods
The caveat of telecommuting is the fact that you don’t meet your coworkers face to face all the time. For instance, extroverts would not be so happy working alone. Some jobs require an employee to personally meet with colleagues for brainstormings and issue resolution. With the advent of information and communications technology, the need for face-to-face meetings has a workaround now. Chats and online meeting tools can help teams continue meeting even through the cloud. When working remotely, make sure you have a steady internet connection, your headset and camera are working, and your team’s preferred chat software is already installed.
The convenience of working from home should not affect your ability to accomplish a quality work product. The freedom that comes from it doesn’t mean you can take as plenty a nap as you can, leaving your Skype meeting requests unattended. Although it can’t be avoided, just be frank with your boss that you like to take another 30 minutes siesta after your lunch. Or you sometimes doze off imagining for a solution to a program bug so you work at night to compensate the time. Just keep your team in the loop and be upfront with the incoming emails and chats so you won’t waste much of everyone else’s time. The compulsion to shirk off at home is almost natural and it’s okay to indulge in a little TV or occasional snacks. For as long as you finish your tasks before the deadline with flying colors then everything about teleworking would be just a fair game.