Those of you that have known me for a while (either in person, in Instant Messenger or thru work) know that I am a full time work-at-home employee of an American Company. I made the transition to work-at-home about 5 years ago, and during that time have enjoyed a modestly successful career. Many of my friends have asked me about how I made the transition, and have asked after my tips-and-tricks for successfully working-from-home.
I thought today would be a good day to address this point.
First off, working-from-home is not for everyone. It introduces new stresses into the workplace (I’ll get to that in a minute), and requires a very structured and rigorous mindset.
Working-from-home is in some ways less stressful than in the office, their are typically less distractions to accomplishing your tasks, but there is also less positive reenforcement for a job well done. The challenge many folks have when they first make the transition is one of insecurity – when your accustomed to continuous feedback on your progress or performance – the work-at-home disconnect with your team or managers can be very disconcerting.
Fear – The Gossip Factor
When your not in the office and don’t have the advantage of the water cooler or lunch time gossip, its very easy to become the target of malicious gossip. “Well Peter isn’t in the office, does anyone know what he’s working on?“ Its very important that your manager and colleagues be up-to-speed on any bottlenecks you encounter in your projects. If a deliverable is delayed (it happens), make certain you’ve communicated that – this serves as a buffer against the ”gossip factor“. If you’ve completed a task your particularly proud of, or you think is cool – share it – demonstrate it – explain why its so cool.
The biggest single challenge work-at-home employees have is how to effectively communicate with team mates and managers. I find that while phone communications are useful in certain circumstances, they tend to be far more formal than what you would experience face-to-face. The most effective communications medium I’ve found for remote employees is Instant Messaging. Make a point to chat with your co-workers – just as you would if you were in the office. Ask about the challenges they face, offer suggestions and just generally try to be helpful. If you are facing a particular challenge, don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help. Instant Messaging serves as an effective replacement for the in-office experience.
The Importance of Status Meetings
When working remotely, Status Meetings with your Manager or staff take on a special importance. They show that you are actively engaged in your projects, and help your team or manager understand what was accomplished, and what accomplishments are planned. I can’t stress this enough, to be effective, remote employee’s must have at least weekly status meetings.
Working from a home can be a very rewarding lifestyle, avoiding the stresses of a daily commute, and the petty annoyances of daily office life (has anybody seen my red stapler?) can be a great relief. Its not without peril however. To succeed, you need to establish a routine that includes quality communication with those in the office, and a work style that is very goal oriented. You must also be confident enough to realize that even without the daily ”at-a-boy“ your work is valued and respected.If you want more info please go to webtrafficgeeks.com