“Yet another article about working remotely through a crisis!” I know what you are thinking.
Yes. And I commit to offer perspectives and value on this topic. These perspectives apply whether you are actually performing work for pay – either as a consultant or an employee – or you merely want to maintain some sense of sanity and worthiness during this turbulent and dangerous time in our lives.
Like many of you, I have experienced two types of work environments throughout my 40 plus years in business. Throughout my career, I’ve:
– Worked onsite at company locations as an employee or contractor
– Worked remotely from a home office
The latter, more than 6 years working for a company as an employee from my home, served to educate me on the most important aspects of working remotely. What I learned during that time, is serving me well now that we’re being asked to stay at, and in some cases, work from home. The lessons learned about remote work is what I want to share with you.
Based on my experience, while there are many aspects to be considered when working remotely, following are three key aspects of any successful work from home strategy.
1) Make Your Status Known
Informing colleagues of your up to the minute status is important. Be sure you maintain an up to date status of your availability and whereabouts, either through a calendar, a daily email with a daily agenda, or status in whatever tool you use to collaborate and communicate. Colleagues (and the boss!) need to know where you are, when you are available, and what to expect from you.
2) Stay Visible
You need a camera, and it needs to be on for meetings and calls. All or most of the time. The experience and vibe you give off, needs to resemble a real face to face experience as much as possible. Throughout my six year work-from-home experience, keeping that camera on ensured I was always on people’s minds. “Yep. That’s Enrique. There he is. Right there. Just as if I had stepped into his cubicle or office”.
3) Stay Connected While Working Remotely
You need to stay “connected” to people. And I don’t just mean by email. Staying “connected” involves all of the connection methods available to you – Skype, Microsoft Teams, Face Book, Messenger, ZOOM, FaceTime, Instant Messaging, phone, and other social media or connectivity apps.
Why? Because people and organizations use different methods to communicate. The sense of connection is vital. Not just in getting work done, but to weather a crisis, such as the one we are currently facing.
These methods are the way to ask questions, request help, ask for advice, check in, offer to help, and inquire about people’s work, personal difficulties, families, and efforts.
Those are my 3 most important aspects of working remotely.
What do you think? Need some help? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s keep the “remote” dialogue going!