Working from home may sound like a dream come true for some, but it’s not all about relaxation and working in your pajamas. It can be a little intimidating if you’re used to going into an office every day.
I’ve been lucky enough to call KeyMedia Solutions my place of employment for 4 years this coming January, and I’ve been KeyMedia’s first full-time remote worker the past 1.5 years. We’ve learned a lot about how to handle and work with an employee that is in a different state. Working from home requires a different skillset and work ethic than working in-house. A productive in-office employee might not be as productive at home, or vice versa.
But how can you utilize this perk? What does it take to be a successful remote employee? I came up with some helpful tips to anyone wanting to utilize this perk that is becoming more and more popular across all industries.
Create clear expectations and deliver consistent results
Before you start your remotely working experience, you need to know what is expected of you as you are away from the office. Most of the time, it will be the same expectations as if you were in the office full time. What are your main channels of communication going to be with the team? When you work remotely, your focus should be on getting things done that are visible to others in the company. You need to show that you can still be a productive part of the team, even if you’re 373 miles away.
Establish a routine
Sticking to a schedule is a great way to keep things running smoothly. If you normally start your day at 8 a.m., then start your remote day at 8 a.m. Be sure to take your usual lunch break, and stick with that mid-afternoon walk if you would do something similar in the office.
Once again, expectations your company has of you are key here. It’s important to let the necessary people know if you’re taking a late lunch or going on that afternoon walk.
Over-communicate and keep connected
Schedule frequent one-on-ones or check-ins with people who are supposed to know what you’re working on.
Also, chat with your co-workers! Being out of the office, you lose a lot of the social aspect that happens at the office. Chat or video call them to talk about how bad your fantasy football team is or how you think Game of Thrones is going to end.
Over-communicate! You may have to put more effort in staying updated on what’s happening with your co-workers and in the office, but it’s important to have regular touch points with everyone to ensure you’re all headed the same direction. It will be on you to share what is and isn’t working with the remote process, and what your team members can do to make your life easier.
One thing I really appreciate is when I get to come back. Every 8-10 weeks, KeyMedia has me come back into town and work in the office. I always enjoy my time seeing the team in-person. When I come back, we always try to have some sort of event. Whether it’s a lunch potluck or getting some drinks at happy hour, it’s nice to be able to connect with my co-workers in-person.
A dedicated work area really helps to separate work and home life. Make your surroundings inspiring for you! You spend more time in your home office than anywhere else so, create a positive environment. That’s why I have this inspiring photo of Dwight right above my desk.
And if you have any family members at home, you need to establish boundaries. Figure out the most respectful way to interrupt each other.
Next time you think about being a full-time remote employee, or just remote for the day, consider these tips!