Working remotely has definite advantages. You avoid the hassle of commuting to work and you can have a more flexible schedule. There are, however, certain pitfalls that can accompany working at home. For better or worse, more and more companies are allowing employees to work remotely. Let’s look at some of the ways to make the most of this.
Tips For Efficient Remote Working
It takes a certain amount of self-discipline to work remotely. The very advantages it presents -the ability to avoid commuting and work at your own pace- can be challenges as well. If you work at home, for example, you may be distracted by family members, household chores, pets or even your TV set. These tips can help you get the most accomplished:
- Have a specific place where you work. Whether this is at your desk at home or with your laptop at a cafe, it’s good to have a definite work station.
- Have a set schedule. Even if you are permitted some flexibility, you will get more done if you set up a specific schedule for yourself.
- Avoid distractions. If you’re working online, don’t let yourself get distracted by constantly checking email or social sites. These distractions can even be a problem in the office, but when you’re on your own you don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder. There are some useful apps that can help you tune out distractions.
Working remotely presents another challenge -staying connected to the office. While modern technology makes it easy enough to transmit assignments and communications across distances, there is also a social component to working in an office. When you are not physically present, it can make you feel isolated and disconnected from your employer.
There are a few ways to maintain a sense of connection with your company.
- Alternate between working at the office and at home. Even if you have the freedom to work remotely when you want, it can be good for your morale to come to the office a couple of times per week.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure you talk with your boss or project partners regularly, even if it’s not strictly necessary. You want to remain in the loop even if you’re not physically present.
- Use the phone or video chats. Email, instant messaging and texting can be alienating if you never see the person you’re talking to or hear his or her voice. Phone calls have a more personal feeling, even if the same information can be transmitted in an email or text message. You also have a chance to pick up more nuances when talking to someone verbally. Video chatting can be even better, as you see people as well.
Working remotely has many advantages, but you have to approach it in a way that allows you to overcome the potential drawbacks and distractions. As more and more work gets done remotely, it becomes important for both employees and managers to identify the most efficient rules for this type of arrangement.