Telecommuting has become somewhat of a trend lately. Thus, in the USA, the number of people who work remotely increased 115% between 2005 and 2015, and it continues to grow. Maybe, you have also considered this option for various reasons.
However, think twice before buying into colorful descriptions of out-of-office life. In fact, it may not fit your personality and even make you spend more time on work.
If you are sure that you will benefit from switching to telecommuting, your task is to show your manager that you do not lose in productivity because of not being at the office. Ask for a trial period and do your best to organize your work properly.
1. Install necessary software you use at work on your computer
It may sound too obvious, but people often skip this step. When already at home, the latter may suddenly notice there are apps they need, but cannot install or set up themselves.
Download everything you use at work before you start working at home or ask IT department to help you with it. And do not forget to make access requests. If your company uses intranet, make sure a virtual desktop client runs properly on your computer.
Install all messengers you use for work on your smartphone as well to remain available for all your colleagues during working hours. Prove your manager there is no risk in allowing you to work at home, since you will be easily reached.
2. Make sure your computer will not fail you
There are situations when computers go out of order. And if you can ask somebody to fix or replace it with another one at the office, you will hardly have such a possibility at home. Your manager and colleagues will not appreciate your inability to participate in a meeting or receive an urgent task.
To avoid your computer failing you at the most crucial moment, make sure it works properly. Every warning sign like a slow boot up may turn into a big issue.
If you have an Apple Mac with serious freezing problems, that are hardly solvable, it is better to replace it with something cheaper, but more reliable.
When buying a new computer, consider a laptop that matches your business needs and is ultraportable, so you can work with it from anywhere.
3. Become more organized
Since you need to prove yourself as a productive remote employee who is capable of meeting deadlines and even beating them, you need to work more efficiently than before. And the results will speak for you.
In fact, home is a very distractive place. At the office, the very environment creates this special work atmosphere, and you are less likely to get distracted by something not work related.
To be more focused at home you can try Pomodoro technique and work in blocks of time with frequent breaks.
There are also plenty of tools to help you sort out your tasks, prioritize them wisely and stick to deadlines. For example, you can significantly increase your performance with to-do apps.
You should also pay your attention to small tasks helpers. For instance, you probably do not often think about how convenient it is when your colleagues are in the same room, so you can just pull them over to your desk to take a peek at your screen.
In this case, you can use tools for taking screenshots that save images to the cloud and make them available for your colleagues by giving them a simple URL.
Check out whether there are apps that can help you with your specific job responsibilities. For instance, if you are a social media manager, there is an option for you to automate publishing of social media posts.
As a remote employee, you can work not only from home, but from any place where there is Internet connection. Besides, it is important to change your working environment from time to time.
If you feel like going to a coffee shop or a café to work there, go to Workfrom.co to find recommendations for a number of good places in major cities.
4. Remain a part of a team
Avoid turning into a virtual colleague. The thing is we perceive people we communicate with via messengers, email or social networks in a different way. Even in the technology era, an eye contact remains super important for developing good relationships at work.
Thus, you should minimize the impact of your absence. Use your real photo for a profile image in messengers and email clients (it will be much better if you are smiling on it) and do not forget about video calls.
This way your manager who makes a final decision about your remote work arrangement sees that the distance between the office and your location is not a hurdle for you to be a team player.
And last but not least, ask your manager for feedback during your trial period.
Be proactive and show your manager you really care about the results you achieve after switching to remote work.
However, you’d better not ask your manager what he or she thinks about your work in general. It may sound as if you are not confident in your performance and do not put enough effort.
Ask for advice on how you can drive even better results. Specify areas you’d like to hear his or her feedback on, since you will hardly get a helpful answers for vague and too broad questions.
At the same time, however, all the responsibility falls on you, once you have been given a chance to become a remote employee. You have to prove that you are definitely not one of employees who choose to work remotely simply because they hope to work less and do not like to wake up early.
Do your best, accomplish more tasks than you usually do and achieve top class work – that is how you can win your manager’s positive decision.